Getting Cultured at Westminster's New Cop Bar, Posse

Taylor Hamby
[Editor's Note: We all know local music and dive bars go hand-in-hand. So in the interest of merging the two together on Heard Mentality, we bring you our weekly nightlife column Dive, Dive, My Darling. Read as our bold web editor, Taylor "Hellcat" Hamby, stumbles into the dive bar scene every week to find crazy stories, meet random weirdos and guzzle good booze.]

I had heard around town that the relatively new Posse Bar in Westminster was a "cop bar." No one ever really elaborated beyond those two words, so when I pulled up to Posse, I wasn't sure what to expect. Would I see a bunch of off-duty officers and their mistresses? A few highway-patrol officers from the station down the road grabbing a brew on their breaks? Or would a swarm of cops greet me when I left?

I pulled on the large horseshoe door handle and walked into a bar covered in light wood and decorated with western flair. Taxidermy and life-sized cutouts of Clint Eastwood and John Wayne surveyed from above. Antlers were adorning ceiling fans, and bits of decorative crumpled tin and mirrors were placed here and there.

So far, no cops.

I sat at the bar to scope out the beer. The draft selection was modest, but the bottled selection included relatively obscure beers for a cowpoke-style dive. The liquor selection was ample, with a shelf dedicated to varieties of moonshine.

At first glance, I'd say this was more of a cowboy bar than a cop bar, but then I saw dozens of patches from the county's various law-enforcement agencies attached to the shelf above the bar back.

Grabbing a Hefeweizen, I moved to a high, round table near a pool table. I observed the atmosphere, jotting down notes in my phone because writing on a pad of paper often draws unwanted attention. As I typed away, a bespectacled man in jeans and a faded Spider-Man comic-book-cover shirt (but damn, did he have nice black cowboy boots) approached me, commenting on how I was ignoring my partner at the table for a cell phone. My plan had backfired.

My drinking mate explained that I review bars and was just taking notes. I rolled my eyes, as I don't like to be "outed" when I'm "researching." But the middle-aged man with a childlike visage seemed to understand. He leaned on his pool cue, and we chatted a bit more until it was his turn to shoot.

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