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4 bars to treat your family to a sophisticated night out

For some students, the football-focused Homecoming hijinks at Colorado State University aren’t that appealing. In fact, sometimes the best place to take your family is one of Fort Collins’ eccentric local bars for a more sophisticated night on the town. Of course, a lot of local bars are hosts for obnoxiously drunk college students, so this might be a weekend to explore some of the less frat-guy popular bars Fort Collins has to offer. 

For those who are of age, here are four bars to take your parents to during Homecoming and Family Weekend to avoid the college student crowds. 


  1. Social
    Social is a cocktail bar and restaurant that provides a classy environment and a wide variety of choices for drinks and food. (Matt Begeman | Collegian)

Inspired by a ’20s style speakeasy theme, Social is easily one of the fanciest bars in Old Town, giving off a “Midnight in Paris” vibe with its vintage displays and mellow music. The bar in Old Town Square is also underground, so you and your family can enjoy the enticing exclusive vibe the bar offers. Mixed drinks are served with an extra amount of care and cocktail expertise, with the Aperol Spritz and Dirty Martini being personal favorites. 

2. The Emporium/Sunset Lounge at The Elizabeth Hotel

The Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market, as well as the Sunset Lounge, are a restaurant and bar that operate out of the Elizabeth Hotel. Much like the name suggests, the Wine Market offers a vast selection of wines, ranging all the way from just over $30 to $300 bottles. This really is the place for a sit-down, dimly lit atmosphere, and if you want to treat your parents to a nice dinner with wine, The Emporium is the way to go. On the other hand, the Sunset Lounge is more of a classy outdoor experience for enjoying a nice cocktail. The Lounge also hosts live jazz from Wednesdays to Saturdays at 7 p.m., so if your family is the kind that likes to talk and drink over some mellow tunes, this might be the place to check out. 

3. Union

Union is a pretty popular American restaurant on Jefferson Street, but many people aren’t as familiar with the wide-ranging drink menu. The bar, highlighted right in the middle of the restaurant, offers all kinds of eccentric drinks, which, according to their website, are “inspired by a traditional soda fountain.” Because Union has its own spin on cocktail making, this is a great place to try out new drinks and maybe find something that you won’t find anywhere else. 

ginger and baker
Ginger and Baker is a place where community members can enjoy a cup of coffee, a meal and a drink all under one roof.

4. The Cache at Ginger and Baker

Operating out of Ginger and Baker’s top level, The Cache is a Colorado cuisine inspired restaurant that is also home to a bar with one of the best ambiances in Fort Collins. The rooftop bar is a suitable place to try one of their popular cider flights or some wine accumulated from all over the globe. 

If your bougie taste can’t be satisfied with your low budget, Homecoming weekend might be the time to have your parents take the spending reigns. Though these bars aren’t necessarily cheap, at least they won’t be filled with drunk college students clumsily spilling their drinks on the dance floor. 

Elena Waldman can be reached at or on Twitter @WaldmanElena


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