Times Square Dueling Piano Bar & Grill, Fort Collins’ only piano bar, was born on March 28, 2010 and died after fighting through a slow and painful death on Sunday, July 17th. It was a little over 1 year old.
Times Square Dueling Piano Bar was conceived by original owner, Neal Cashman, taking over the unmistakeable old Wild Rock building on the corner of South College and Drake next to Tortilla Marissa’s. It had difficulty from the get go – bringing on Gray’s Cafe in August 2010 to increase functional hours and add different meal options beyond the piano party scene, but it was a very short partnership that ended a couple of months later in October 2010. Continuing to struggle, it was taken on by new ownership, Brant Frazier, former owner of Time Out Sports Grill in Estes Park in June of 2011, until its final days and eventual death in July.
The Piano Bar is survived by bartender Steve Curtis, a nice guy who was eager to please guests with libations, friendly service and a charming smile; entertainer Brian Juan, a vivacious man who was not shy about his keytar skills and hilarious antics; entertainer Michael Scherr, a funny fellow with a nifty piano key belt who was willing to dance on tables to make the crowd laugh; and culinary team Chef Dylan Frazier and Chef Brendan Solano who sadly served some of the worst food ever consumed in Fort Collins.
The only establishment in town to charge a $7 cover, Times Square Dueling Piano Bar will be remembered for sweet intoxicating fishbowl drinks with large long penis straws, crude humor, shot glasses shaped as male genitalia with whipped cream on top, middle-aged women tipping dollar bills as if they were at a Vegas Chippendale male review, and catchy piano bar songs from the 1970′s – a frisky place of cock shots and dick jokes.
Favorite moments include the sing-along to Cee-lo Green’s latest hit song “Fuck You,” the time piano man Brian Juan playfully yelled out to a non-participating gentleman sulking at a table with his date, “Sing or I will shit in your drink! Sing louder or I will shit in yours and then shit in hers too!” and when “I love Penises” was so carefully written on the mirrored wall behind the pianos as the catch phrase for the night.
Somber moments include the realization that the place was empty on weekend nights – two partying groups on a Friday evening while four other groups walked out, and the inability to eat more than a few bites of appetizers because of their horrendous flavor and poor quality.
The Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms topped with smoked provolone cheese were greasy, mushy, sour, and fishy, leaving the belief that ingredients should not have been used let alone served to the public.
The Mozzarella sticks were fair, but unworthy of attention.
The Grilled Sliders of mini burgers topped with grilled onions and cheddar cheese were a clear sign the venue was taking its last, sad breath – stale buns, tough meat, rubbery cheese – not fresh at all.
The Fried Dill Pickles were also stale but had a spice that attempted to breath life into the limp chip, and failed miserably.
With people unable to eat the unappetizing appetizers served, they were also unwilling to order entrees.
Filling up on fishbowls, gummy bear shots, and mind erasers – Times Square Dueling Piano Bar was a place to drink and sing your ass off, as long as you were prepared with a smart phone to find entertainer-approved song requests that you were familiar with.
Private memorial services included close friends and family. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Food Bank for Larimer County or the charity of your choice.
Times Square Dueling Piano Bar & Grill
2631 South College Avenue
Parking: Small lot parking shared with Tortilla Marissa’s
Healthy Options? A few salads
Budget-Friendly? No – $7 cover charge, entree between$10-$20, and at least $10 for song tips (on top of drinks, etc)
Recent Health Inspection: Marginal