As tulips pop up and ski resorts shut down, patio season hits Denver with almost as much force as last month's Blizzard of 2003. With the sky staying light later, this is the perfect time of year to linger on the patio of the Park Tavern & Restaurant with a refreshing glass of 7-Up -- one that's loaded with a generous helping of raspberry vodka, of course. Sipping one of these clear, bubbly alcoholic sodas ($4.50), served on the rocks, is sure to mellow you after a frantic bout of spring cleaning. So is the Park Tavern, a kicked-back neighborhood joint where the square bar is lined morning, noon and night with Capitol Hill apartment dwellers taking full advantage of the joint's three daily two-for-one happy hours and inexpensive Mexican food. Inside the smoky establishment, where competition on the pool and foosball tables is usually as stiff as the drinks, beer signs and sports paraphernalia abound; outside, the narrow front patio is all good times and new, good friends. If you're lucky enough to find a spot there, plan on sticking around.