September 12, 2019

Summer is wrapping up, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end! You just need to find the right place to hang out with some friends and enjoy a beer or a well-made cocktail. Along the Front Range and around the state, Colorado has many iconic bars and taverns that serve up delicious libations and exceptional ambience.

Seven of A-Train’s favorite establishments are:

  1. Tap and Handle. While it was founded less than a decade ago, we’re ready to call this Fort Collins favorite “iconic.” And we’re not alone. This cozy joint has made many lists, including Draft Magazine’s Top 100 Best Beer Bars in the Country.

  2. El Chapultepec. Ask a Denver resident for a recommendation for a cool bar and this landmark, which first opened in 1933, will probably come up. There’s live music every night of the week and an authentic, jazz vibe.

  3. Bucksnort Saloon. This rustic watering hole in Pine, about an hour southwest of Denver, is a great place for beer, burgers and live music. People of all kinds flock to the Bucksnort. It’s been said you shouldn’t be surprised to see an old pickup, a luxury SUV and a horse parked out front when you arrive.

  4. The Mayor of Old Town. Here’s another nod to our Fort Collins roots. The Mayor of Old Town got its name from one of the owners, who was seen around the city so often in his previous job in real estate that people started referring to him as “The Mayor.” One hundred beers on tap means you never run out of new taste adventures.

  5. The Little Bear Saloon. Locals tend to drop the “Saloon” and simply say they’re headed for the Little Bear. While the bar has been around for a little over 40 years, the building it occupies in Evergreen, west of Denver, has a long history as a church, a general store and a dance hall.

  6. My Brother’s Bar. If you’re checking out iconic Colorado bars, you have to visit Denver’s longest continually operating establishment. It opened its doors as the Highland House in 1873, and has been a local favorite ever since. The name? Two brothers purchased the place many years ago, and it’s said that when vendors came by for payments, whichever owner they ran into would say, “Don’t look to me. It’s my brother’s bar.”

  7. The Dark Horse. If you spent any time in Boulder in your college years, you spent some evenings at the Dark Horse. You probably also spent some time staring in amazement at the bar’s eclectic decor, before accidentally walking into the wrong restroom when confused by the Women/Men pointing fingers painted on the doors.

Of course, this list is just the tip of the tap, so to speak. But hopefully it whets your appetite for doing some exploring.