Is the Tavern Downtown America's best sports bar?

Categories: Cafe Society

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The best sports bar in America, according to one trade publication.
If you've ever sat on the 11,000 square-foot patio at the Tavern Downtown before a spring Rockies game, you know that it's not a bad place to be, and according to Nightclub & Bar, a national bar management publication, it's the best place for a sports fan to be in the country.

Nightclub & Bar recently named the Tavern Downtown the "Sports Bar of the Year" as part of its 2011 Nightclub & Bar Awards.

"We were absolutely thrilled and honored," says Helen Wood, director of marketing for Tavern Hospitality Group, which owns the Tavern Downtown. "It made us feel our efforts are really making an impact."

Bars and clubs were nominated by venue owners and operators, as well as vendors, suppliers and other industry reps. The winners were selected by a panel of industry experts comprising top consultants, developers, educators, writers, editors and trainers.

"I feel like we're a bit nicer than a typical sports bar just in the design and the quality of the food and service, and that keeps us a step above the rest," says Wood. She also credits the massive patio, which doubled in size last year, and is equipped with heaters, misters and two large projection screens; inside, amenities include thirty televisions and a mini-bowling alley. And the proximity to Coors Field doesn't hurt, either.

"We are constantly trying to think outside the box to generate ideas that will entice sports fans," adds Wood. "Our latest idea is our Tavern March Madness bracket. During March Madness, people will be able to participate in our on-line bracket (similar to the ESPN bracket) with the opportunity to win a trip for two to Las Vegas, including airfare and hotel."

The Tavern will be recognized along with other winners at Nightclub & Bar's convention in March in Las Vegas. The award could be more than just a hefty pat on the back, too. "I think it will definitely drive business," says Wood. "It's a recognition with a good name, so it will generate business for people who haven't been here before as well as national business for people who are visiting Denver."

Here's a taste of what they'll see:

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Downstairs at the Tavern.

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The Tavern's gaming area.

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Gaming area.

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The Tavern's popular Fat Tuesday frozen drinks.


Location Info

The Tavern Downtown

1949 Market St., Denver, CO

Category: Music


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21 comments
Ross Sbriscia
Ross Sbriscia

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fogtron
fogtron

Tavern Downtown: America's #1 Best Douche-Magnet. I'm glad this place exists for one reason... I don't have to worry about the clientele schmucking up some other bar that I might actually enjoy being at. Blehhhhhhhh

calhounp
calhounp

just called Frank Schultz, owner of the Tavern, to ask about the no-hat policy. Interesting. I'll post an update on Cafe Society later today.

Psuedonym
Psuedonym

"America's Best Sports Bar?" Hardly:

* "America's Best Sports Bar" would let you smoke.* "America's Best Sports Bar" would let you wear sports gear, including hats.* "America's Best Sports Bar" would serve beer, Jack Daniels and maybe tequila. NOT frozen slushy drinks.* "America's Best Sports Bar" would be grungy and authentic, NOT manufactured LoDo metrosexual yuppie marketing design.* "America's Best Sports Bar" would have a parking lot full of pickups, motorcycles and muscle cars out front.

And the list goes on, and on...

KUlove06
KUlove06

The tavern is awesome. They have good service, food, and generally classier women compared to other places. Oh you can wear hats until 9...that's the only thing they could change...atleast on game days.

free12
free12

I agree that maybe a Saturday night probably isn't the best sports night at the Tavern. There's definitely a young hit-the-town crowd on Saturdays which I'm way too old for now. Any other time though is great to watch sports, especially once it warms up and we can sit on the patio. And I love their pizza, so it's definitely a go-to for me.

Jon S
Jon S

The Tavern has exactly one thing going for it: The rooftop patio. Otherwise it's a miserable place to hang out. I don't know what kind of "sports bar" is frequented entirely by preppy dudes in sweaters or polo shirts, or MMA wannabes in Ed Hardy gear. Don't believe me? Just check out the photos in the blog post.

Mantonat
Mantonat

Seems like some early (negative) comments were inadvertantly (I hope) deleted. What I said before: The Tavern is a great place for recent college graduates to party. If you want to actually enjoy televised sporting events with likeminded individuals, try the Highland Tap & Burger. The fights, vomit, and overpriced food can stay at the Lodo meatmarkets.

Jay
Jay

I love the Tavern. Finally a sports bar wear hats aren't allowed. I love how the drinks are served in 8 oz. dixie cups with practically zero booze, nothing worse than getting a buzz from alcohol. The music is breathtaking too, nothing beats listening to "Sweet Caroline" or "Living on a Prayer" over and over.

Kidding. The Tavern is a piece of shit and the above positive posters are clearly the owners posing as customers because no normal person likes the Tavern. People just go there by default because of the location.

BTW, weren't there 3-4 other negative posts that were here earlier and got removed?

GoRocks!
GoRocks!

There is nothing like having some beers on the rooftop at The Tavern Downtown then heading to a Rockies game...Or just enjoying a Friday afternoon (awesome happy hour 2 for 1!) in the sun with the misters blasting! And I think they only ask that you remove your hat after like 8 or 9pm...Is it so bad that they want a certain level of dress code? Great place before and after a Rockies game! GO ROCKIES!

howard
howard

Congrats!! I think Tavern Downtown is a great sports bar! They’ve got a ton of big TVs (I love the projection screens at night) and great specials. I always go there before and after Rockies games. My fantasy football league caught most of our games there this past year. Will definitely continue going.

Smith
Smith

The Tavern is the second worst bar downtown losing to it's neighbor LODO's by only the thinnest margin. What kind of good sports bar won't let you wear a hat inside?

Jay
Jay

Um yeah, it's not a sports bar. It's a tourist trap designed to manipulate naive Lodo visitors into pissing away money. It's simply a meeting point that people end up at once a year by default because of the location.

"We're meeting on The Downtown Tavern at 7 for a friend of a friend who I don't like's birthday, want to join?" No gracias.

It's like Chili's but with smaller drinks, shittier music and an absurd no-hat policy (and I even hate when dudes wear hats in real restaurants).

Mantonat
Mantonat

Overpriced food, drunk frat boys, standing-room only. Is this what it takes to be a great sports bar? It may be a great downtown bar for recent college grads to meet and party, but it's not really a good place to enjoy a sporting event on TV. I'd much rather go someplace like Highland Tap & Burger, where all the seating has views of multiple TVs, the staff labels the TVs if there are multiple big games on, the food is awesome, they have a really good beer list, and you probably won't get thrown up on (or thrown down on, either).

5280Man
5280Man

There is no way on Earth this is the BEST sports bar in the country. I was literally kicked out of there for wearing a... wait for it, Rockies cap after a ball game. They said no hats permitted!!! In a sports bar?

mls
mls

hoping to hear that update, thanks!

Jay
Jay

Clearly our previous reviews were flagged by the owners. Then they (i.e. Howard + GoRocks) wrote fake reviews posing as customers. They sound like cheese-dick radio advertisement scripts for Alice 105.9.

5280Man
5280Man

Be careful Smith. You are not allowed to make negative comments about The Tavern. It is not so bad to have a dress code in a bar, but in a bar that is supposedly a Sports Bar I think allowing someone wearing a "sports" hat would be permissible. To end on a positive, they do have a great deck/location but no hats after a game, that is a deal breaker.

Mantonat
Mantonat

Not sure what happened, but I'll definitely give Westword the benefit of the doubt. Does clicking "flag" lead to the deletion of a post or just bring it to an editor's attention?

Lori Midson
Lori Midson

Hey, guys--

Not sure why your comments didn't show up, but I can assure you that they were inadvertently deleted. Sorry about that.

Lori Midson
Lori Midson

It brings it to our attention. I imagine we had a glitch earlier today.

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