The Union Social House — a bar, gallery, and food truck-based eatery — opened in late December on north Main Avenue in Durango.
According to The Durango Herald, longtime Durango events planner Carol Clark created it as a “vintage game house,” providing a space for parents to have a casual drink, while their children play games.
I’m a casual drinker who plays games, so I decided to check it out.
The space itself, at 3602 Main Ave., is bigger than you’d expect. The somewhat muted steel-and-concrete-heavy interior would feel spartan if it weren’t for the comfortable couches, wooden furniture, and decor inside. There’s even a fireplace. (Gas, albeit – but hey, it emits heat!)
In the very back, past the bar, there’s a window opening up into the Backcountry Gourmet food truck, which has sliders, fries, and the like. On the day I went, the food truck was open until just before the bar closed.
There are two pinball machines in the back – The Simpsons and The Munsters, for you pinball aficionados.
The bar had six beers on tap: Ska Brewing Co.’s Euphoria, Eddyline Brewery’s Raspberry Wheat, Telluride Brewing Co.’s RedFISH and Ski-in-Ski-Stout, Bell’s Brewery’s Two Hearted Ale, and Coors. There were also a number of other beers and wine available.
What caught my eye, though, were the four featured cocktails, all of which seem to be based on songs (or, at the very least, lyrics): Around The World; Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop; Halfway There; and Walk This Way. They were based in gin, tequila, whiskey, and vodka respectively.
I let my affinity for all things tequila make my first choice – Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop – which also contained pamplemousse and grapefruit juice. In case you don’t parlez français, pamplemousse is also grapefruit – in this case, a liqueur. So between the double grapefruit (a bold fruit if there ever was one) and the tequila you’d think this cocktail would be overpowering, right? Not really. The result was a light pink drink that was neither too fruity nor heavy on the tequila.
I assume the drink was named after the Young Gunz track from 2003, maybe because “the girls, the girls, they love us, cause we stay fresh to death; we the best, nothing less.” Whatever the case, I let my musical taste pick the next drink.
Around The World, which I mentally associated with the Daft Punk song, is gin, lime juice, and Aperol. That last ingredient is an Italian apéritif made with gentian, cinchona, and rhubarb, like a milder, sweeter Campari. It tastes a bit like rhubarb, bitter herbs, and burnt orange. Add to that the already herbal flavor of gin, and you’ve got a drink with a very herbal, sort of fruity, complex flavor profile. Like a Daft Punk song.
I didn’t try the other two cocktails – I’m saving them for some night when I’m feeling classic rock. Will we back? Definitely. Union seems like a good place to be social.