Hanging Without A Hangover

Hanging Without a Hangover

Downtown Fargo Offers More Than Booze and Regrets


After waking up to find a chronicle of the previous night’s mistakes posted to social media, it may be time to find an alternative to the bar scene.

Downtown Fargo has several places offering a night out that won’t end with you waking up wondering who’s lying in your bed next to you. From retro theaters to trendy coffee houses, you don’t have to get blasted or attempt to copulate in order to have a fun night out with your crew.

If you know what bubble tea is then you’re probably the demographic Teaberry is shooting for. A hotspot for many college students under drinking age, Teaberry offers a swanky atmosphere for laissez-faire novelists to write their magnum opus while posted up in public.

Between the two of them, the next great American novel is probably in the works. (Photo courtesy of Teaberry’s Facebook page)

“We stay open late; we also have free Wi-Fi which encourages students to come here and study,” said Gaolee Trung, co-owner of Teaberry. “They can stay here as long as they want.”

Besides providing a safe hangout spot away from the scuzzies at the bars, Teaberry also provides customers with an assortment of board games they can play. Instead of trying to impress your date with how much liquor you can throw down your throat, you can display your intellect in a game of Trivial Pursuit.

Tattoos You Won’t Immediately Regret
Nothing cements a friendship more than getting matching Tweety Bird tattoos on your buttocks. With three tattoo shops in the downtown Fargo vicinity (No Coast Tattoo, Below Radar Tattoo, and The Bee’s Nest Tattoo and Art Studio) you have ample opportunity to stagger over from your favorite drinking hole to get inked.

A thoroughly thought out tattoo? Of course it is. It’s Batman. (Photo Courtesy of No Coast Tattoo’s Facebook page)

But it may be a good idea to make any design decisions when you aren’t three sheets to the wind. Instead of the tramp stamp you would have gotten after being 40 oz. deep in Pabst Blue, you can go in with a clear head and get a well-thought-out permanent ink blot on your body.

Red Raven Espresso Parlor
If the name didn’t already give it away, the Red Raven is an alcohol-free counter-culture cantina for the hippest of the hip. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a warm drink and some local talent, then look no further.

“It’s a great place for the community; doing shows and stuff like that,” said Cydney Berlinger, one of the worker-owners at the Red Raven. “We have some Celtic and old-time jams that happen and we have a jazz jam that I think is starting up again soon.”

A couple of youngsters attempt to entertain the crowd gathered at the Red Raven during a teen poetry night. (Photo courtesy of Red Raven Espresso Parlor’s Facebook page)

The Red Raven also has many events outside of live music, including everything from poetry reading to an open-mic comedy night. There’s nothing more thrilling than waiting to see if you’ll experience comedic gold or cringe so hard you pull something.

Fargo Theatre
After indulging in local talent you may want to cleanse your palette by watching some over-paid “professional” entertainers. The Fargo Theatre is one of the most iconic spots in the city and offers a time capsule movie-going experience.

A group of patrons arrive in costume at the Fargo Theatre to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show. (Photo by Andy Weston)

The main hall of the theater has been restored to look like it did back when it opened in the 1920s. The movies shown tend to be classics from a bygone era or independent new releases. Although the seats might not recline, you’ll have a more unique experience than going to the next Transformers snooze-fest at your local multiplex.

The Many Dens of Debauchery
It may not seem like the best way to avoid drinking, but if you’ve ever been tasked with being the designated driver, bars can offer a sobering good time.

You might not be aware of it, but most bars in downtown Fargo offer designated drivers free soda. It’s not much, but it allows you to not feel like a fish-out-of-water as you awkwardly watch your friends destroy their integrity. And people watching can actually be a great way to spend a night out.

Sobriety Superiority
Now that you’ve had a fun night away from the dizzy water, it’s time to wake up fresh and invite your migraine-addled friends downtown for some breakfast at the Fryn’ Pan. As they’re trying not to purge their Supreme Omelette onto the table, you can embrace them in your sunny-disposition. It just might inspire them to join you on a booze-free night the following weekend. Spread the love.

(Andy Weston is a senior majoring in multimedia journalism at MSUM. He hopes to one day end the hashtag and bring back the pound sign. Contact him at westonan@mnstate.edu)

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