For Denver visitors, Denver neighborhood bars are possibly the best way to see the true Denver from the perspective of Denver locals at ease—sidle up to the bar and mingle with Denver regulars and get to the heart of what makes Denverites tick. For Denver visitors on a budget and with a sense of adventure, Denver neighborhood bars with cheap drinks and raw appeal are excellent drinking options. With a saloon town history, Denver has its share of locally seasoned watering holes situated in every neighborhood. For low-key vibe in LoDo, the Pourhouse Pub stretches happy hour until late in the evening. The neighborhood Recovery Room hosts a Ladies' Nights on Tuesday where the ladies drink for free (a ruse no doubt obvious to the ladies). For an excellent Saturday morning Bloody Mary and hearty pub fare, the Cap City Tavern is the Denver neighborhood bar of choice.
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Atrium Bar and Grill
554 S. Broadway, Denver, Colorado; Tel. 303.744.1923
The Atrium Bar and Grill is a neighborhood styled bar in Denver that has a definitive bent towards the gay and lesbian community, but is not a wholesale gay bar. Everyone's welcome at the Atrium, therefore everyone drinks at the Atrium and their more than capable bartenders are always ready to throw down some heavy booze to the mixed masses. Food stuffs are your typical Denver bar fare and the Atrium also features local DJs manning the decks with some weekend nights devoted to bringing in local live music acts.
Candle Light Tavern
383 S. Pearl St., Denver, Colorado; Tel. 303.778.9530
The Candle Light Tavern is a neighborly Denver bar that caters to a slew of regulars, locals and all around boozers that start crowding in after work for some old time hospitality, cheap drinks and the tri-fold bar staples of burgers, fries and wings. Also, this Denver neighborhood bar sports a rec-room complete with pool tables and dart boards with a full size skee-ball game that's a freakin' blast when you're sauced.
Cap City Tavern
1247 Bannock St., Denver, Colorado; Tel. 720.931.8888
You'd be hard pressed to find a friendlier Denver neighborhood bar than the Cap City Tavern that not only caters to regulars, but makes everyone feel right at home and, if you're part of the Cornhusker Nation, well, consider Cap City your Saturday morning headquarters. The Cap City Tavern also puts out a good pub style menu, the cocktails are above average and both completely satisfy their expressed purpose.
Charlie Brown's Bar & Grill
980 Grant St., Denver, Colorado; Tel. 303.860.1655
This down to earth Denver neighborhood bar makes everyone feel like a regular and Charlie Brown's Bar and Grill also sports the best fixture we've come across in the form of their wizened piano player, Paulie, who tickles the ivories with his personal renditions of nearly every song ever written. A diverse Denver boozing crowd calls Charlie Brown's their local watering hole and you're likely to find career drinkers rubbing elbows with students or biz pros mingling with hipsters as they all come in for the bargain priced, but extremely good chow and dangerous cocktails.
404 Broadway, Denver, Colorado; Tel. 303.778.9605
Mom's cooking and cheap booze, what could be better? Club 404 is a Denver bar that's both neighborly and divey and will assuredly answer the question posed above with "freakin' nothing," even though it was rhetorical. Heck, Denver's Club 404 has been around for over half a century and it seems as though the pricing structure is lagging more than a few years behind today's date—everything from the homey food to the heavy handed cocktails are well below market average. Also, relax while you're at this Denver bar because the service leans more toward family over fast and you wouldn't be demanding of your mom when she's serving you...would you?
3242 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, Colorado; Tel. 303.399.9703
Goosetown Tavern is an extremely busy Denver neighborhood bar where the bartenders always seem to know everybody's name and drink treating the mélange of drinkers like they are all regulars. This Denver bar also does a superb menu of typical bar fare and way above average pizzas to accompany Goosetown Tavern's wide selection of Colorado microbrews and other taps. Consider yourself lucky if you actually find a seat at this laid back, yet boisterous Denver bar—but, heck, we don't want to meet the kind of people that need to sit to down a beer and chow some pizza.
Harvey Thunderbird Lounge
721 Quebec St., Denver, Colorado; Tel. 303.322.7315
Harvey Thunderbird Lounge is a classic Denver neighborhood dive bar with wizened regulars propping up the bar, a rickety pool table and heavily poured cheap booze—and that's exactly why we love it. Throw in some really good traditional bar food and a happy hour that takes their already wallet friendly prices down to the point where you almost feel guilty drinking at this Denver bar and Harvey Thunderbird Lounge is one of the best places to get back to your sullied drinking roots.
Mead St. Station
3625 W. 32nd Ave., Denver, Colorado; Tel. 303.433.2138
Mead St. Station is a Denver neighborhood bar done like they should be with a full kitchen featuring excellent bar grub, an extensive bottle and tap beer list, single malt scotches and premium liquors, and more regulars calling this Denver bar home than their actual domiciles. During the day you're likely to find said regulars enjoying a hearty lunch and swilling some booze in Mead St. Station's friendly confines, but once the sun sets, this local Denver bar starts raucously partying, reveling in the finer points that make life important: drinks, food and friends. Also, Mead St. Station hosts live music from local Denver acts several nights a week featuring jazz, acoustic, cover and R&B bands.
Old Curtis Street Bar
2100 Curtis St., Denver, Colorado; Tel. 303.292.2083
It's surprising that the Old Curtis Street Bar has been able to keep its Denver neighborhood bar charm given its close proximity to the trendy LoDo district and thankfully the spectral reach of decadent lounge pretensions hasn't reached this low-key joint. The friendly confines of this Denver bar have the feel of a place your dad would feel comfortable hanging his hat in and the wallet pleasing prices of both the Old Curtis Street Bar's food and drink will certainly appeal to pop's economic sensibilities. Regulars in the know crowd into the Old Curtis for their live music nights featuring up and coming local Denver bands espousing the virtues of their punk and indie lives.
1435 Market St., Denver, Colorado; Tel. 303.623.7687
A completely low-key neighborhood bar in Denver's LoDo district of ultra-trendy club swankiness, the Pourhouse Pub sports one of the most amicable airs of any bar and its a welcomed escape from this Denver bar's velvet roped brethren. The Pourhouse Pub's already cheap prices are further enhanced by a lengthy happy hour that almost makes you feel guilty for boozing with such little monetary output and this Denver local bar also has a rooftop patio—that's open year-round—because the people watching scene up and down LoDo is too good to be solely relegated to the summer months.
The Recovery Room
819 Colorado Blvd., Denver, Colorado; Tel. 303.333.0569
You might actually have to hit this Denver bar's namesake after a raucous night of partying at The Recovery Room. The bartenders pour with a decided heavy hand at this little neighborhood bar and The Recovery Room doesn't have any of that pesky food stuff to distract you from the boozing, but they will let you bring in any food you want to attempt to stave off the inevitable hangover. Ladies get extremely well taken care of at this Denver bar because not only does The Recovery Room do a regular Ladies Night on Thursdays, on Tuesdays it's "Dirty Nurse" night when the fairer sex can get sauced on well drinks, wine and draft beer for (ready?) FREE.
538 E. 17th Ave., Denver, Colorado; Tel. 303.830.9210
The biz pro set and local denizens from the neighborhood congregate in Tavern Uptown's upscale, yet homey interior for well-poured drinks and bar grub that's a step or two above your normal Denver bar fare. While technically a sports bar and sports are proudly broadcast on their numerous TVs, Tavern Uptown presents a more sophisticated atmosphere than the typical beer and jersey joints. With a stone fireplace, leather couches, level pool tables and a backyard patio complete with a rose garden you're more likely to find trendsters and yuppies imbibing the well priced cocktails at Tavern Uptown rather than armchair quarterbacks at this Denver neighborhood bar.
2201 Larimer St., Denver, Colorado; Tel. 303.297.0303
A friendly Denver neighborhood bar that could easily turn into a death trap if you attempt to navigate the Whiskey Tour 'cause the Whiskey Bar sports about 75 different kinds on their list that if you tried to sample in one sitting your liver would go running for the hills. This Denver bar has an undeniable local flavor that you don't find very often and the slate of whiskey heads that crowd in are completely appreciative. The Whiskey Bar definitely returns the favor of patronage with a happy hour that's one of the best bar deals in Denver.
2037 E. 13th Ave., Denver, Colorado; Tel. 303.996.0842
This comfortable Denver neighborhood bar makes an instant regular out of everyone that steps through the front door and Wyman's No.5 keeps those patrons coming back with drink prices that blow reasonable out of the water and the friendly amenities that you'd expect from a neighborhood watering hole. The décor is decidedly old school and timeless, it wouldn't take a stretch of the imagination to visualize multiple generations calling Wyman's No.5 their second home bar.
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—Denver bar and club reviews by Ryan Osterbeck