In 1984, against the advice of certain friends and family members, a man named Frankie opened a pub on the East Side of Colorado Springs. He began with little more than a small storefront and a chalkboard on which he scrawled the day's burgers and sandwiches. But over the next three decades, to the surprise of everyone except the people who ate Frankie's food, the bar doubled in size. Frankie opened a patio, installed big-screen TVs, and, with the help of his wife—who was once just one of his patrons—began printing real menus. Today, Frankie keeps his visitors full with burgers, steaks, hand-battered onion rings, and other pub eats—most of which are recipes he's been making for years and some of which were inspired by dreams about storm clouds raining nacho cheese.
But Frankie's isn't just about food and beer, it's also about community. Throughout football season, his TVs broadcast the professional and college-level games in College Tickets, games on Sunday, Monday and Thursday Tickets and ESPN's Gameplan package, ranging from regular-season match-ups to special conference games. And every Saturday, live music draws newly formed friends to the dance floor, keeping them moving long into the night.
Bambino's Italian Eatery and Sports Bar boasts an extensive menu of freshly made pizzas, pastas, salads, and more. Handmade pizzas are its specialty, hatched from sauces and dough made in-house every day and pounded, poured, and flourished with an array of decorative delectables. Appreciators of classic Italia and can revel in the Mama Mia Special, a doughy disk topped with pepperoni, mushroom, green pepper, onion, Italian sausage, ham, ground beef, and black olives ($12.95–$19.95). Pie prohibitionists can opt for one of pasta dishes with a combination of Bambino's noodle shapes and sauces, including the primavera ($7.75), the clam alfredo ($8.95), and the bolognese ($7.25), or sink chompers into a hot pastrami sandwich, filled with green peppers, onions, and mozzarella cheese ($5.95). Ward off post-meal boredom or sugar-afeared demons with a full-size peach dessert stromboli (9.95). Libation-seekers can find shelter at Bambino's sports bar, which is fully stocked with beer, wine, spirits, and liquefied sports broadcasts.
Look in any direction at Cleats Bar and Grill, and there's likely to be some kind of competition in sight. HD televisions peer down on visitors, casting football, hockey, and baseball games across their glowing faces. Friendly bouts of pool and darts break out elsewhere, while foosball players spin their miniature players until they vomit LEGO blocks. On the outdoor patio, guests surrounding the fire pit pass subtle bets on which log will be the last to crumble into ash. All the while, these varying gladiators take bites from team-themed burgers and hoist domestic and craft beers.
On any given night, during any sports season, fans can gather at Overtime Sports Bar & Grill to watch their team play on a host of flat screen TVs. But it's not just about the sports here. There's also a full menu of classic grill food and a full bar stocked with frosty brews and mixed drinks. The bar hosts 10-week long poker tournaments on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Occasionally, a murder mystery crops up, with bar patrons playing the role of suspects and sleuths simultaneously, meaning they all have to figure out how to use a magnifying glass as a shield.