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Mar 5, 2010 10:36 AM

Help a Boston Hound?

Worthy Denver hounds! I need bar/lounge advice. In early April I will be attending a convention and am trying to find a cool venue to host a party for a magazine. It must adhere to the following:

-walking distance from the downtown convention center
-able to hold 75-100
-not be so upscale that cheap writers can't afford a round or two
-and, if possible, not be a TGI Friday type place, but more of a local dive

I am completely unfamiliar with Denver so any advice is appreciated. I have always relied on the kindness of chowhounds!

Burny Carbo

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  1. Former Boston hound here, hey there. This isn't the AWP, is it?

    I'm a bit confused about the atmo you've seeking: you've got "cool," "not so upscale," and "dive," which runs the gamut; also, you're looking to rent it out for the evening, is that correct?

    2 Replies
    1. re: tatamagouche

      tatamagouche! I remember reading your posts on the boston board. allow me to clarify. yes, it's for awp. no, we don't (and can't afford) renting a whole place. the way we've always worked it is just gauranteeing a large number of guests who would show up to drink. in terms of a 'vibe' in a perfect world it would be a cool dive, someplace where conventioneers could experience a place other than the generic lobby bar of the hilton. thanks again for your interest. bc

      1. re: burny carbo

        Hi! Both jcattles's suggestions and LurkerDan's might work; both are hotel bars, but not generic, especially not The Corner Office. The Wine Loft might work, being very spacious; bad news is it's a chain, but good news is you can't really tell; it's nice. Peaks Lounge might work—which is also a hotel bar, but it's the only one in town with a panoramic view. Not cheap but not Boston expensive.

        Maybe a bit small but so very, very cool is Mario's Double Daughter's Salotto.

        Corridor 44, a pretty champagne bar, has a back room that might also suffice.

        If it's warm enough, and by then it should be, Tamayo has a roof deck that could meet your needs.

        Harry's Bar in the Magnolia Hotel isn't bad either.

        But downtown, there are so many options; if worse comes to worse there are all sorts of gargantuan bar and grills on the 16th St. Mall that will do in a pinch. I wouldn't recommend them for dining, but you could at least rest assured they'll swallow your crowd.

        Hope this helps!

    2. The Corner Office, maybe?

      1. I'm thinking Katie Mullens. It's not far from the convention center & can accomodate large crowds. I haven't been personally, but have heard good things.

        4 Replies
        1. re: jcattles

          How about Marlowe's at 16th & Glenarm? Lively pub right around the corner from the Paramount Theater. It's about 30 years old, which makes it something of a downtown institution. There's a mezzanine above the fray, which isn't a private room but is easily managed for a group. Historic photos are on the walls, so even the shy guy (if there is one) has something to look at. Happy hour lasts till 7 -- every night -- and there's a second happy hour later.

          1. re: ClaireWalter

            Yeah, that was one of the gargantuan places I was thinking of.

            1. re: tatamagouche

              Like you, I don't personally care for any of those gargantuan places like the Paramount or Marlowe's or Maggiano's or Rialto. I do like your recs, but Bones and El Taco and some of the best places would be way too small for a group unless the OP wants to sneak away and have a great meal solo or with a select group of pals.

              1. re: rlm

                Oh, I thought the meal recs (as opposed to the bar recs) specifically were just for burny carbo, not the whole could be right.

        2. thanks all for the great info, and i will report back with where we end up. tatamagouche, any denver chow not to be missed? i could care less about type of cuisine but would welcome suggestions. for example, in boston i often bring guests from out of town to north end regina's or east boston angela's. thanks for this and all support. bc

          2 Replies
          1. re: burny carbo

            Well, you should definitely get Denver-style Mexican with plenty of green chile *somewhere.* El Taco de Mexico is my own fave but there are so many others. Will you be mobile?

            When it comes to the question of, OK, you won't experience *this* anywhere else, Domo always comes to mind: country-style Japanese in an incredible setting (and reachable from downtown by lightrail). And just down the block from there is a bit of a tourist trap, but only a bit; it's still historic, it's still got mind-boggling decor, and it's still worth checking out at least for drinks (and overbreaded Rocky Mountain oysters): The Buckhorn Exchange.


            For just reliably great, contemporary food, I'll reel off some of the usual suspects: downtown includes Rioja (Med), Panzano (Italian), Osteria Marco (Italian); if you've got wheels, Table 6 (Amer), Beatrice & Woodsley (Amer, plus remarkable decor—owned by the same folks as Mario's Double Daughter's Salotto), Bones (small plates and noodle bar), The Squeaky Bean. (Reviews of all on my blog,



            You might also want to check the recent thread on DRW, because it mentions a bunch of well-received newer places:

            And though I don't agree with everything that was chosen, this article's smart (as usual) and revealing:

            Now, these are just places I think of as reliably great. It's not that you can't get the same thing in Boston.

            1. re: tatamagouche

              With the exception, that is, of Beatrice & Woodsley: that decor is unique, and really, there's something about the food that is just slightly different; supposedly they're influenced in part by nineteenth-century American cookery, so maybe that's it. And Bones's modern fusiony noodle bar repertoire is not something that I know for sure is available in Boston (I still try to keep up with the news there).

          2. Glad you asked about other places too. We'd love to hear what you thought about any you will be trying.