Grading Denver’s Soccer Pubs

June 15, 2012

Last weekend my college roommate and I took a man-cation to Denver, Colorado. Because of the opening games of the European Championship that weekend and the United States Men’s National Team’s 2014 World Cup qualifier on Friday evening, we spent the majority of our time in Denver’s fine soccer pubs.

Here are the grades.

The British Bulldog – 2052 Stout St.

The perfect environment for watching football – a nice small pub atmosphere, walls replete with scarves from dozens of English clubs, the final EPL table prominently displayed and many well-positioned TV sets. The pub also had a TV set-up outside for those who preferred.

My friend and I arrived to watch the tail end of the Greece-Poland game and then settled in for the Russia-Czech Republic game. The beer was good and the food was fantastic. The bartender recommended the Panjani wings which were terrific and we also went with the fried mac and cheese which was also delicious.

There were some great jabs being thrown around between the Russia and Poland fans which completed the perfect afternoon.

My only complaint would be the bartender at the British Bulldog who recommended we check out the Celtic Tavern for that evening’s U.S.-Antigua game.

Overall Grade – A

The Celtic Tavern – 1801 Blake St.

Encouraged by a bartender at the British Bulldog to also check out the Celtic Tavern, my friend and I picked up after the Russia-Czech game finished and walked the several blocks to the Celtic.

We arrived about 45 minutes before the USMNT game kicked off, but the bar was dead. It seemed like a nice enough place, so we decided to wait it out a little to see if the crowd picked up.

It didn’t, but we did engage in a nice conversation with the bartenders, one of whom was of Irish descent and told me that he considered Landon Donovan to be one of the top 50 players in the world. Bonus points there, but even a U.S. fanatic like myself would consider that rating to be a too high.

I was little annoyed as I checked out the TV situation because all of the sets where we were sitting were set-up at 90 degree angles to the bar forcing you to sit in an awkward position on your stool to watch them.

With about 15 minutes to go before kickoff of the U.S. game and only about 5 patrons in the bar (including me and my friend), we got desperate, paid our $11 tab for 2 beers and headed back to the British Bulldog where we had lost our good seats and were forced to watch the U.S. game from a bad angle. The U.S. performance in the game didn’t make happen to make that any better.

Overall Grade – C

The Irish Snug – 1201 East Colfax

For the next day’s games, we headed off to the Irish Snug. The games that day were Denmark-Netherlands and Portugal-Germany. After checking out the upstairs, we were informed that there was additional seating in the basement. We headed down.

In the basement, we bellied up to the bar for a fantastic morning and afternoon of soccer. The TV sets were directly in front of us at eye level which made for very comfortable viewing. The bartender recommended the Denver Pale Ale which was terrific and Mirror Pond Pale Ale which was also wonderful.

I ordered some nachos–I know, what a boring choice at an Irish Pub, right? But, they were served on waffle fries and I couldn’t resist the temptation to try them. They were beef nachos, but somehow I found some chicken near the bottom. It didn’t really matter, I enjoyed them nonetheless.

After the second game was over, we paid and tab and took off for the Rockies game. Overall, a terrific experience.

Overall Grade – A

The Three Lions – 2239 East Colfax

Unfortunately, both me and my friend had early flights on Sunday and couldn’t stay another day. Even though numerous people we ran into over the weekend and even the American Outlaws – Denver Chapter recommended The Three Lions, we ran out of time.

Hopefully, next time.

Overall Grade – Incomplete

John D. Halloran

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One Response to Grading Denver’s Soccer Pubs

  1. DE Dupuis on June 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Thanks JD, I have a sister in Denver, I’ll take your advice as to where to watch a game.

    I was just in San Diego during 2 of the Euro’s games.
    I saw the Spain vs Croatia game at the Costa Brava, a spanish tapas restaurant/pub on Garnet St between Jewel and Ingrahm in Pacific Beach. All the TVs were set to spanish speaking stations, I’m pretty sure, it was so loud it was hard to tell for sure. The crowd was overwhelmingly for Spain (me too) almost EVERYONE wore either a spain or barca jersey (I only had a Barca cap on, I was traveling on business), 3 or 4 croatia fans present, also in jerseys, they were well treated. The food was great (if you like tapas) and I had a beer from Barcelona which was really good. The crowd seemed more enthusiastic than knowledgeable, and the biggest TVs were not HD, but who cares, Spain won on a beautiful goal and it was a blast – I highly recommend the Costa Brava for Spain, Barca, or I guess any La Liga game.
    I saw the England vs Ukraine game at Shakespeare’s Pub, on India street near Washington. Shakespeare’s is a standard out of place British pub. The crowd was 4/5 for England and quite a few Ukrainians. Pretty much everyone wore either a 3 lions or a Ukrainian jersey – not me, still in my Barca cap. I sat with 5 England fans – all with English accents – and 2 Ukrainians – all were really into the game and all seemed to have played some sort of fairly high level football so even the discussion – held at a yell loudness – was insightful. We consoled the Ukrainians on the goal that was not a goal, but made a big point of the offsides. At the end of the game the Ukrainians hugged all of us. There were all sorts of full voice England songs repeated throughout the game – none of which I knew. The beer was great – Newcastle on tap in true pint glasses – and food oddly enough was not wonderful (I had fish & chips of course). Dozens of TVs, all HD, all on english speaking ESPN. I had a great time. It would be a great spot to watch a BPL game.
    I didn’t make it to the AO pub, O’brien’s, because, well, the US wasn’t playing and I was skipping out during lunch to catch the games so time was important and O’brien’s was further away.

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