These days it’s tough to find a good dive bar in the city. You’re looking for one that remains un-renovated, without Wi-Fi that’s still serving classic beers and mixed drinks. The bar scene of Denver is no different than any other city, and many local dives have closed their doors in the past couple of years.
However, you can still find some of these gems where you feel comfortable and relaxed and where you’re not spending all of your money to have a few drinks and listen to the jukebox. Check out these great dive bars in Denver.
Located on Washington Avenue, Ace-Hi Tavern has been serving alcohol and comfort since it opened in 1961. The original owner’s grandson runs the place, and many local workers stop by after a shift. Western-themed, Ace-Hi also features old-fashioned steer horns and Mardi Gras beads around the proud “Native” signs that declare this bar a part of Colorado history.
With a motto like, “Get bombed at the Hangar,” you can hardly expect a tame bar, and this one delivers three happy hours a day. Since the Hangar opened in 1938 for the military men of Lowry Army Air Force Base, it has been decorated with a B-17 bomber built solely from vintage beer cans. If that doesn’t draw you in, there’s also a tiki corner and specials for military vets.
3. Carioca Café, aka Bar Bar
The Carioca Café opens at 7:00 a.m., and there are often people at the doors then to grab a cup of coffee and a newspaper or magazine. However, the three happy hours that Carioca offers makes the Bar Bar nickname understandable as an eclectic mix of rockers, hipsters and local workers arrive throughout the day. Some people stay most of the day, switching to alcohol in the afternoon, and the live music starts in the evening.
4. 12 Volt Tavern
You’ll find 12 Volt Tavern on Grandview Avenue and in the heart of the Arvada restaurant renaissance. While those shiny diners and new bars continue to open, 12 Volt Tavern remains a dark place where you can get a cold beer, a friendly pool game or a good sing-along with the live music or the jukebox. You’ll also enjoy the frequent theme nights, which are sure to bring out some interesting characters.
5. PS Lounge
Better to go at night than in the light of day, PS Lounge is a cash-only bar that doesn’t run tabs, keeping its clientele coming back for more drinks. However, this long-running location on East Colfax Avenue has such personable bartenders that if you play your cards right, you may just end up with a free round or two of the bar’s favorite drink, the Alabama Slammer.
6. Sam’s Bar and Lounge
From the time it opened 62 years ago until now, Sam’s Bar and Lounge has never offered Wi-Fi, and it probably never will. In fact, this dive’s chalkboard proudly demands, “Talk to each other, and get drunk,” and both are pretty easy thanks to the four-sided bar. There are comfortable booths and inexpensive drinks, making it enjoyable to come back to Sam’s time and time again.
What’s your favorite dive bar in Denver? Let us know so that we can check it out!