Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

March 30, 2006 at 8:08am

I was like, good gracious McCabe's is bodacious

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Natasha_1Outside of Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, there really isn't anything I like about country music. Adventures, however, I do like, which is how I found myself at McCabe's American Music Bar in Tacoma.
A good outfit for the night is critical. I haven't missed the Ellensburg Rodeo since I was 19, so I have some sagebrush flair. Really, any Bohemian mama who doesn't have a cowgirl thing or two is probably no friend of mine. I'll be honest: In my rodeo belt buckle and urban cowboy boots, I'm no Shania Twain, but she's from Canada anyway.
The attire at McCabe's is interesting: both terrifying and tantalizing. Red pants aren't unheard of, and there just aren't enough rhinestones in the world. Some of the cowboys probably could've used a little more bull riding exercise. Camouflage vests from Sportco are a must. However, several of the gals looked downright adorable in their sassy negligees, jeans and boots. Plus, I still contend that there's something intimidating about a good-looking man in a striped shirt, cowboy hat and Wranglers. Phew!
You can tell right away that McCabe's has devoted regulars because they all seem to know each other. If you're not used to large crowds, I recommend a shot to take the edge off. There's an overwhelming amount of testosterone there - down, cowboy, DOWN!
There's also some sage advice bantered about from the womenfolk, like: "I should've left that husband of mine a long time ago." 
Ordering drinks at McCabe's is surprisingly civilized. People patiently wait in one single file line for cocktails. While Candy the bartender is fantastic, I wish I could add two more of her to spread the crowd along the bar and make the process move quicker. But maybe that's just the drunk in me talking.
At 9 p.m., be prepared to take your hat off as the entire crowd faces the flag and the DJ plays the national anthem. Those who act up during the anthem are thrown out on their lips by the giant door guys - no, really. Also, don't be surprised if people shhhh you when you laugh and talk about how that's one of the weirdest bar rituals you've ever seen.
People at McCabe's take America seriously.
The establishment has the best social arrangement of any place I've seen in Tacoma. Every table around the perimeter has a view of the enormous dance floor in the middle. At first glance, you'd think it's a revolving dance floor, but that's just the couples two-steppin' in perfect unison.
At 11 p.m., the DJ takes an unexpected turn; he starts playing hip-hop. Seriously, the $5 cover is worth the cost of admission just to see Wrangler butts goin' nuts over Nelly's "Hot in Herre."
The bottom line? Saving a horse and riding a cowboy isn't such a bad idea.
Giddyup!
McCabe's American Music Bar, 2611 Pacific Ave., downtown Tacoma, (253) 272-5403. - Natasha

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