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Backstage Bar and Grill

Almost Dr. Feelgood

Photo Credit: Steve Dunkelberger

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The '80s rock club is my Holy Grail. A live band blasting metal hits. Tough guys in leather jackets tossing back beers. Bouncers, fresh out of prison, feathering their long, dangerous hair. Bodacious blondes strutting around the club.

That's right. Bodacious '80s blondes.

But the prototypical '80s rock club no longer exists. Like hair bands and arena rock, these wonderful hangouts have gone the way of the dodo, leaving guys like me with little more than VH1 reruns and old Crüe albums to appease our desires.

At least the Backstage Bar and Grill in Tacoma tries to hold onto the dream.

A surly looking bouncer takes my money at the door. Rock music, or a 21st century version of it, immediately fills my ears. On the large stage, a live cover band named Radio Edit cranks out recognizable hits. Posters advertising an upcoming appearance by the one-and-only Vince Neil dot the walls. The band is even accompanied by two rock and roll go-go dancers. And while neither dancer is blonde, their wiggles and struts are certainly enough to ignite my cat scratch fever.

Standing in the doorway to the Backstage, I think I've finally found my Jesus cup. Once I settle down near the back of the bar, though, I recognize a few flaws. At least half of the bar's patrons are over 40. This is fine for most nights, but not when I'm trying to live out my never-get-old, rock-hard-and-die-young fantasy. Plus, not all of the patrons are rockers. The country-club couple to my right, while drinking heavily, don't exactly scream metal.

But these foibles I can live with. What makes things difficult for a Meat Market column, however, is that outside of the scantly-clad go-go dancers, there aren't many women on this night. A table of bachelorettes here, a few stragglers there. But the chances of finding my own kind of Pam Anderson seem slim.

Still, the live music is pleasurable and the beer flows easily. While not my perfect fantasy, the Backstage has its own kind of charm.

The go-go girls aren't too hard on the eyes, either.

Backstage Bar and Grill

cover varies depending on band
6409 Sixth Ave., Tacoma

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