Enduring the black hole that is Rodney's

Categories: Happy Hour

Happy Place: Rodney's, 2819 East Second Avenue, 303-394-3939.

The Hours: Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m.

The Deals: Half-priced bottled beer, wines by the glass, well cocktails and appetizers.

Were we happy? Flip the page to find out.

The Digs: Rodney's opened nearly thirty years ago in Denver's posh and pompous Cherry Creek neighborhood and has maintained its status (and the same clientele) as one of the area's indestructible watering holes in the city. The underground restaurant boasts a dining room of booths surrounded by a large rectangular bar occupied by the lonely. The space is dark and dated -- the kind of bar you'd go to if you wanted to drink away the pain of something awful. On a positive note, the staff is as loyal and consistent as the regulars.

The Verdict: Basement bars. If they don't have a certain allure, they can make you want to kill yourself. In a city with 300 days of sunshine per year, someone looking to escape belowground to drink shitty wine to excess is probably not in a happy mood -- and that's the vibe at Rodney's. The crowd seems disgruntled and stagnant, and the atmosphere reeks of oppressed frustration. The space is a vacuum of negative energy, and we couldn't escape because we had already ordered food.

And the food only adds to the somber experience. The sliders, which appeared to have come straight off a Sysco truck, tasted as though they were born in a microwave, and the fries were oily and underdone. The queso dip, which came highly recommended by the bartender, was gritty, and the thin tortilla chips that accompanied it had a hard time competing with the rubbery, congealing concoction. And while the servers were friendly, they seem as excited to be there as the older, single gentleman staring sadly into his vodka tonic. We'd need a serious reason (and some anti-depressants) to ever think of returning to Rodney's happy hour.

Overall Grade: D

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Kate, it sounds like you are disgruntled with Cherry Creek itself, and maybe even mankind. I LOVE Rodney's. I was happy to dicover it ten years ago and continue to frequent it today. I think it's atmoshpere is truly unique and comforting! The food is everything that comfort food should be. If it is as sub-par as you state that it is, then how on Earth would Rodney's have survived the ever-turbulent Cherry Creek restaurant scene for almost 30 years??? There's a good reason they are on a wait every Friday night, and one that is worth your time.

Another truly wonderful asset of Rodney's is it's staff. After only a handful of visits, the servers and bartenders remembered our names and are always very attentive and seem to genuinely love their jobs - they must, as they seem to stay for years and years. They are always friendly and quick to supply you with a good laugh, your favorite drink, and something delicious to eat.

I'd recommend Rodney's to anyone looking for a great place to go! 


"The crowd seems disgruntled and stagnant, and the atmosphere reeks of oppressed frustration."They constantly have Fox News on at the bar, what do you expect? 


You know who the real victim is in this? Sysco...oh and the bathrooms there as I hear people keep stinking them up at restaurants around town. 

Now Trending

From the Vault