Happy Place: Trinity Grille, 1801 Broadway, 303-293-2288.
The Hours: Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.
The Deals: $1 off all beer, well cocktails, house wines; free hors d'oeuvres
Were we happy? Flip the page to find out.
The Digs: The Trinity Grille sits in the shadow of the Brown Palace, a dated, less fussy option for those who aren't into a highfalutin' scene. It has the feel of a hotel bar, thanks to the generic brass lighting, and the dining room, set with tables graced with white linens, is framed by large windows peeking over Broadway; the slender oak bar runs along the front of the restaurant, and there's a TV in the corner to provide sound and company for the lonely tourists, business diners and power-lunchers who have gathered here forever.
The Verdict: The bartender placed a glass of cold beer in front of me, and I resisted the urge to slam the entire pint before asking him if there was a happy-hour menu. "We don't have a happy-hour menu," he replied, "but there are some free appetizers back there." He pointed to a small buffet table sitting in the dining area. Two cheese and vegetable trays sat on the table next to a warmer filled with stale hot wings.
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The energy at the Trinity Grille is similarly stagnant, with melancholy patrons and an uninspiring list of libations. And like your mother always said, you get what you pay for -- in our case, free chicken wings that were dry and flavorless. The only real perk of the Trinity Grille is the staff. Our bartender was a seasoned pro, a gentle, wise lad with a penchant for remembering the life stories of everyone who walks through the door. This isn't a place where we long to spend endless hours drinking (or eating), but it's a stopping point for a quick beer or cocktail before moving on to somewhere with a pulse.
Overall Grade: C-