With owners transplanted from the Emerald Isle, Katie Mullen's Irish Restaurant and Bar is riddled with authentic Irish flourishes. The furniture, for example, was all imported from Nugent and Gibney Ltd in Ireland. Up to 500 people gather around the hand-carved tables, feasting on Icelandic cod battered with Harp Lager and burgers crowned with corned beef. Kathleen St. John of the Denver Post notes that the selection of food stands out among a sea of Irish pubs: “Katie Mullen's menu is intensely Irish, but that doesn't mean bland corned beef and cabbage.” In the kitchen, chefs combine diced lamb, veal demi-glace, and fresh herbs in slowly roiling pots of irish stew.
The fare fills the 11,500-square-foot interior with revelry, the clatter of silverware reverberating through four themed rooms: the Victorian bar, the Shop bar, the Pharmacy bar, and the Gaelic bar. Lights dangle from marbled and copper-paneled ceilings, and dark-wood and stone accents surround diners in each room. The same stonework, along with curlicues of wrought iron, warms in the sun around the large outdoor patio. On the weekends, live musicians strum their guitars and rock through ballads about how many pairs of sunglasses you should be wearing.
A year after Scott Kerkmans created the role of Chief Beer Officer for the Four Points by Sheraton hotels, it began to get around that Denver was the "Napa Valley of Beer." As NPR later reports, the rumor is a culmination of a life spent steeped in beer culture. Before creating Colorado Beer Week and beating out more than 7,000 applicants for the title of CBO, Kerkmans was on the production side at Alaskan Brewing Company. He’s since authored articles for Draft Magazine, taught at Cook Street School of Fine Cooking, and judged burped renditions of the Pledge of Allegiance at the Great American Beer Festival. He shares his taste in microbrews with more than 140 hotels and restaurants worldwide through the Four Point's beer program, but keeps his feet planted firmly on his home turf during his nine-day spring festival, which highlights the finest pours from Colorado breweries including New Belgium, Oskar Blues, and Ska Brewing Company.
Although reviewers are mixed on authenticity, customers agree that the location is convenient and the atmosphere is fun. Four Citysearchers give Croc's Mexican Bar & Grill an average of four stars. Four TripAdvisors rate it an average of 3.5 owl eyes.
Belly up to the bar or kick back in marshmallow-like sofas and prep your palate with a specialty sip. MiniBar's inventive cocktail menu includes everything from mouth-watering martinis (try the miniBar'tini with Grey Goose L'Orange vodka, citrange, white cranberry, and a spritz of lime, $8) or a bubbly miniBar bellini (Lunetta prosecco, white-peach puree, and peach schnapps, $6). Small plates such as the spiced nuts (coated with kicky Cajun spices) or bacon-wrapped medjool dates are prime for sharing (served 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., start at $5 for one item). MiniBar also features a well-edited selection of salads, dips, and cheese plates to satisfy more intense cravings. Try the caprese salad ($9), flatbread and dips ($8), or the barbecue baby back ribs ($11).