Bars and restaurants change fast along Federal Boulevard — but a transformation on Saturday may have set a record. Early in the afternoon, a sign on 1703 Federal promised the "grand opening" of El Patron Sports Bar in the space that had turned into El Luchador last summer. But that incarnation didn't last long, because the El Luchador sign was now gone and new patio railings had been set up on the sidewalk outside — although there was no evidence that the place would soon celebrate a grand opening. Just a few hours later, though, and right in time for the Big Drums Along the Rockies gathering at Sports Authority field, the space had been transformed with a new coat of paint, balloons floating above the patio, and both doors — including a brand-new one cut in the wall — now open.
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Before this address belonged to El Luchador, it was occupied by Los Agaves, a Mexican joint that Mark Antonation visited for his Ethniche series. "On drives past Los Agaves on Denver Broncos game days, with Sports Authority Field looming directly across the street, I've seen the teeming parking lot full of orange-clad revelers sloshing with beer and green chile," he wrote in December 2013, "but on a weeknight, the echos of the game are just a memory and the victory cheers only a muted rumble from that soccer game broadcast, atypically, at low volume. A couple of my friends even said it's their regular pre-game hangout, even if they couldn't remember the name of the place. Such is the fate of a vast majority of Mexican restaurants on Federal Boulevard (and across the city). Popularity is more about location than the quality of food or service; the money trickles in and keeps the place in business for another day, another month."
How will El Patron fare under this formula? Keep watching Federal Boulevard to find out.