For almost eighty years, theMicky Manor
-- and that's Micky, without an "e" -- was a landmark on Federal Boulevard, its trademark-respecting neon Mickey and Minnie signs a constant. But in the fall of 2011, the mouse finally left the house.
The circa 1904 firehouse at 2544 Federal Boulevard first became the Micky Manor in 1932, and that identity stuck for the next 75 years, through a couple of owners and managers, one of whom made it a haven for classic Rockybilt burgers. A brief transformation to the Twelfth Man in 2006 didn't last, and Micky made a comeback in 2007, the neon repaired and shining brighter than ever. But it didn't last, and the space has been dark for almost two years. Until this week, when it lit up again as Federal Bar & Grill.
When they opened the Micky Manor over eighty years ago, Mike and Madeline Phillips catered to the Italian community that dominated this part of northwest Denver. When Dominic Coloroso -- who'd worked at Public Service of Colorado for more than twenty years and served six terms in the legislature -- took over in 1943, the Mickey Manor continued to be a community gathering place. Every New Year's Eve, he'd host a party with free food at the Micky Manor; every summer, he'd throw a picnic for the regulars up at Genesee Park. And every Sunday, families would gather at the restaurant after church to eat good Italian food and enjoy good company -- and Dominic's generosity.
When Dominic retired in 1976, his son, Billy, took over -- although Dominic kept his hand in the business. Then in 1986, after Billy Coloroso passed away, the family leased the building to Ronnie Bay. He ran the Micky Manor for a decade before selling it to Jerri and Richard Sanchez, who ran it for another decade before they sold it to the men who turned it into the Twelfth Man. Briefly. In 2007, it landed back with Fran Daly, Dominic Coloroso's daughter, who also owns the space to the north that houses a jewelry store and the four parking lots to the south that border Jack-n-Grill. But although Fran was eager to see her father's place reopen, she lives in Montana and couldn't run it herself. Instead, she found others to lease it -- but that didn't work out.
"My dad always said, 'You don't close a bar,'" she told me back in 2007.
And now it's open again, although with a different name and configuration. The room has gotten a thorough cleaning and update -- and the neon mouse signs are gone; those were reclaimed by Fran Daly.
But then, the bar's new proprietors are looking more to the future than the past. That's why the Federal's twenty draft lines feature craft beers from around the United States, along with some imports; there's also an extensive bottled beer selection. And plans call for "delicious menu selections and a casual atmosphere in this updated neighborhood hangout."
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The hours will expand, too; watch the Federal's Facebook page for updates. But today, look for Federal Bar & Grill to open at 5 p.m.