Often, I wish my cosmopolitans were spiked with a shot of twang.
Those are generally the same nights when I crave cringe-inducing satisfaction that can only be explained by two words: mechanical bull.
Does Columbus need a country club?
The question frequently arises during my conversations with partiers. Ask a handful of clubbers what they’d like to see in the local nightlife scene and at least one of them will probably say a country music bar.
Yes, some bars occasionally play country music. Some occasionally host country bands. You can even dance to country music every weekend at VFW Post 665 on Victory Drive.
But in recent history — say, most of the three years I’ve been here — there hasn’t been a bar in Columbus known exclusively as “the country club.”
In theory, it’s a promising prospect for a nightlife entrepreneur.
Big-name country music shows seem to do well here, and you’ll frequently spot drivers savoring local country music stations.
Unfortunately, a successful local country nightclub seems about as likely as renewed interest in Billy Ray Cyrus’ mullet.
One obstacle: entertainment.
Yes, our area has some standout country musicians — just look at the talented guys from Columbus-based Montgomery Gunn.
But are there enough acts to sustain a diverse country-only entertainment calendar? I don’t know.
Of course, a bar could always rely on DJ-spun country music.
The only problem: Country music has had so much crossover appeal that those tunes could overlap with much of what you’re already hearing at your favorite dance club.
What’s more, amid the rise of the Cupid Shuffle and Soulja Boy, the once elusive line dancing bar has lost its allure.
Line dancing is no longer perceived as an underground activity driven by physical coordination and a willingness to wear too-tight jeans.
It has expanded to included multiple genres of music, not to mention multiple levels of coordination.
Sorry, country music world: Top 40 music has Superman’d your “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.”
Like I said, our party scene is hardly devoid of country music.
Most cover bands define themselves as “Southern rock,” an all-encompassing label that often includes everything from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Toby Keith.
Choose a favorite bar and it’ll likely give you a little bit of country — with a little bit of rock and roll on the side.
Would a bar’s promise of “all country, all the time” change your nightlife habits?
In the meantime, don’t hang up your cowboy hats.
Increased demand might pave the way for an even larger country music presence in Columbus nightlife.
And for better or worse, your twang-spiked cosmo could be well within reach.