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Cotton District Bar Crawl: Fountain wins most social, Bin 612 feels like home

Jun 02, 2023

As a freshman, tales of Rounders in Tuscaloosa, Skybar in Auburn, Fred’s in Baton Rouge and The Library in Oxford were not hard to come by in conversation of bar-talk.

I always wondered if Starkville had its own bar that held notoriety across state lines. I now feel it is safe to say we do not. The Cotton District itself, however, is notorious. Because of this notoriety, the idea of a Reflector staff bar crawl was floated around last year, and after waiting an entire summer to turn 21, I jumped at the idea of doing it to start this year off right.

And here we are.

The bar crawl began at 7 p.m. this past Friday, where I, fellow opinion writer Elisa Stocking and photography editor Ivy Rose Ball sat down at Bin 612. Seeing as Bin 612 is better known for its food than its drinks, we felt it only fair that we gave both a try.

I ordered a Mississippi Mule, which was brought to me in a glass rather than a copper mug like expected, but it was a good drink, nonetheless. Elisa and Ivy Rose got food and drinks of their own, but since Ivy Rose is not 21, Elisa and I were the only ones keeping each other in drinking company.

Bin 612 was nostalgic for me. The chicken in my chicken tender cheese fries tasted exactly like the way my dad makes it back home. The music was exclusively late 2000s and early 2010s pop. On top of that, Thor played on the TV. Overall, it was quite the enjoyable experience.

Next up, Elisa, Ivy Rose and I hit an almost empty Klaasroom. It is no secret that Klaas does not have much space to walk around, so naturally we went there early. The bartenders were outgoing and pleasant to talk to. They had preseason football games on the TVs, and they also had the blast from the past that is “Timmy Turner” by Desiigner playing over the speakers.

I felt it only necessary to review each bar based on the quality of drink. I figured that the fairest way to do that would be to order the same thing every time. At each bar after Bin 612, I ordered a tequila soda with lime juice. While I understand how this order may make me sound like a degenerate, my sister is getting married in May, so the attempt to lose weight trumps here.

At Klaas we were joined by my good friend Susannah Spry. She ordered vodka cranberry juices the whole night, and while she did not rate each bar's drink, I did notice that what she ordered from Klaas was the drink left most full.

Klaas was fun, the drinks were good, but it was ultimately uneventful on this night. We finished our drinks and headed to Two Brothers.

We got to Two Brothers about the time they started checking IDs, so this is unfortunately where Ivy Rose had to leave the crawl. We were sad to see her go, but we also knew that the show must go on.

We grabbed drinks and headed to the second floor, where we ran into all sorts of familiar faces. Susannah had rejoined us, along with one of my best friends, Corey. This was just the beginning.

We ran into people we knew from student body executive council, friends who came from 21st birthday parties, fellow New Maroon Camp staff and more. The vibe on the second floor this night was excellent.

Elisa noted that the only thing that could improve this experience was if they had tonic water, as a gin and tonic would have gone well with the atmosphere.

From Two Brothers, we went on to Fountain and Mojo’s. While technically two bars, they are one building, and if you do not have a drink, one could walk back and forth.

On the walk to Fountain, we met up with almost all my coworkers from Pi Beta Phi, where I work as a houseboy. At this point, the group became the biggest it had been all night, being 17 people at its height.

The drink reviews at this point, in all honesty, had been skewed by the circumstances. Once I had gotten a drink at Fountain and used the need for one from Mojo’s to get out of an uncomfortable conversation, it seemed as though the crew was anchored for the night.

Once that happened, Elisa and I decided it was a good time to have our Drifters experience before finishing the night back with our group at Fountain. Drifters, to me, has always had a very safe atmosphere socially. Because of this, random conversations with strangers are almost bound to happen.

I had a conversation about tattoos with someone I had only just met. That was then interrupted by someone asking me if I had any Marlboro Reds. Not once did I feel like any of this was an unusual experience. It was probably easy to tell that Elisa and I both had no complaints about our short time at Drifters.

With our final drinks thrown away and every University Drive bar hit, we checked the time, and it was too late to make it into Uno Mas. We headed back to Fountain where “Glad you Came” by The Wanted played us out.

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