The institution known as ‘The Dogg’

Just a few miles west of Castleton’s campus lies a place where, for CSC students, the spirits pour like Seattle rain. The Bomoseen Inn, commonly known as The Dog, has been the watering hole for students preferring libations over the library for over 40 years.

The Dog is an institution. According to current owner Curt King, a ritual known as “walk the dog” has been in place for 35 years.

“The night before graduation all the graduating kids get up on the bar and walk around it,” King said.

Today, that is much less of an aerobic endeavor than it was prior to the 1990’s. The bar is now shortened from what was once the longest bar in the state of Vermont. According to King, it was 110 feet long.

King, however, has no clue how the Bomoseen Inn came to be known as The Dog.

“It’s just been that way for over 40 years,” King said. “Nobody knows. Nobody.”

King and his father bought The Dog 11 years ago, and King bartends every Thursday night, which is consistently the biggest night for Castleton students to go out there.

This past Thursday, the night began rather quietly. Just a few locals gathered around the bar. That gave one regular customer, who requested to remain nameless, a chance to share his thoughts on The Dog.

“It’s somewhat seasonal because a lot of people visit the lake,” he said. “People from out of state driving by have to stop in just because.”

Then the Castleton contingent began filing in.

King, when asked if he has to make a lot of shots and exotic drinks on Thursdays, reached into the cooler and pulled out a half gallon peach schnapps bottle filled to the top with “Red Headed Slut.” No offense. It’s a popular mix of Jagermeister, peach schnapps and some cranberry juice.

Thursday nights at The Dog also feature 50 cent drafts, where a customer of legal drinking age can get a cup filled with Natural Light for half a buck.

One Castleton student, junior Mallory Strange, was enjoying a draft that was being transported from the cup to her mouth via a straw.

“I wouldn’t say I come every Thursday. I skipped last week,” Strange said. “I’m a regular.”

Strange summed up her attraction to The Dog.

“I’m from the city. I miss home because there’s a lot going on there,” Strange said. “I come to The Dog because everyone goes, this is the spot to be on Thursday and it’s sick.”

But nobody wants to get sick. One person who assists the busy bartender in assuring that the crowd upwards of 150 doesn’t get too rowdy is bouncer Kelton Brooks.

Brooks has been bouncing at The Dog every Thursday for three years and realizes the responsibility that comes with the amount of alcohol young people are consuming there.

“All I do is make sure that everybody is safe,” Brooks said.

With King and Brooks making sure that everything runs smoothly, The Dog is a refuge for stressed out college kids who just want to let loose on Thirsty Thursday in a safe environment.

And according to Strange, a night at The Dog doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

“I came with about 20 bucks,” Strange said.

But how much will she have when she gets home?

“About 17. I’m a chick and guys buy stuff for me,” Strange said.

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