The feel of a classic saloon with wood-slat flooring and a wood-topped bar invites patrons in for a cold pint and a comforting burger. The menu opens with a prologue of starters such as the southwestern-chicken egg rolls infused with chicken, black beans, corn, spinach, and jack cheese ($6.95) and fried-pickle spears ($5.95) for staving off hunger's vanguard. Try your hand at a sandwich such as the bagel Reuben ($8.25) or heft a vegetarian-black-bean burger served with southwestern slaw ($6.25). Diners can also be the architects of their own burger ($4.95), starting with a choice of 15 add-ons ($0.75+ each)—including fried egg, goat cheese, applewood bacon, and brie—before attempting to build an entire city out of ground beef. When the sun shines, many guests find seats in an outdoor patio reminiscent of a German beer garden as they drain a glass of sudsy sustenance.
What comes after setting a Guinness World Record for longest journey on a mini motorcycle? For Ryan Galbraith and Chris Stinson, the answer is opening a sports bar that celebrates Colorado’s thriving action-sports scene. The duo renovated Cheapskates Action Sports Bar themselves to create a haven for local sports lovers, and now pour beers for their enthusiastic customers. Fans of dirt biking, snowboarding, and other extreme sports sip Shock Top and Schlitz at Cheapskates’ two locations Aurora and Arvada, which also serve specialty shots and cocktails. In the kitchen, cooks hand-weigh and season burgers such as the AntiVegan, a bacchanalia of beef, cheese, bacon, and a fried egg, and stir homemade Hobo chili with railroad ties. Cheapskates maintains a festive atmosphere throughout the week with sports broadcasts, happy hours, karaoke performances, ladies night, industry night, and its signature birthday special, which bestows patrons with 20 pitchers of domestic beer for $25.
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).
Fill up on fare at 5280's editor's pick for Top New Bar with today's Groupon. For $25, you'll get $50 worth of hearty grub and Colorado-based brews at Jonesy's EatBar, a warm and cuddly dinnery that houses an original soda fountain from an original 1950s pharmacy.
Throughout the summer months, el Camino's rooftop garden blossoms with organic cilantro and mint leaves, providing ultra-fresh accouterments for the eatery's Mexican feasts. And though the small garden doesn’t cultivate all of el Camino’s ingredients, the rest of the bounty originates not too far from Highland. For example, the eatery's chefs stuff housemade tamales, tacos, and other lunch and dinner specialties with all-natural chicken, beef, and pork from local vendor Anderson Meats. They create guacamole, salsa, and each and every dessert completely from scratch, using produce supplied by two Colorado companies, Red Hat Foods and Arroyo Produce. Beyond supporting the local economy, el Camino tries to preserve the entire ecosystem by operating on 100% wind power and recycling all of its cans, bottles, and cardboard cutouts of Al Gore.
While satisfying hunger with decadent, locally sourced food, including a daily brunch, el Camino sates rippling thirsts for both beer and entertainment. The bar pours drafts from the likes of Del Norte, Avery, and Great Divide breweries, and mixes up potent bloody marys, mimosas, and sangria. Every night of the week brings a different treat, such as $1 street tacos on Tuesday and the Tito Del Barrio Malaga flamenco band every Saturday.
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.