Happy Place: The Lobby, 2191 Arapahoe Street, 303-997-9911
The Hours: Monday through Saturday from 4 to 6:30 p.m.
The Deals: $3 Colorado microbrews, Miller Lite, and well cocktails; $5 house wine; $6 specialty cocktails; $4-8 food specials.
Were we happy? Flip the page to find out.
The Digs: You'll find The Lobby sitting directly across the street from the Great Divide Brewing Company, just north of the hubbub of downtown, in a space that's been home to several restaurants, the last of which was Buenos Aries Grill. Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner daily, it's a convenient location for pre-baseball beers, especially if you're looking to steer clear of the madness that goes down at Falling Rock and other watering holes within crawling distance of Coors Field. It's got a convivial atmosphere, too, and a casual vibe with happy people looking to unwind, especially on the spacious and secluded patio that's a perfect place to relax with a cocktail during a pig roast on a summer night. And the high ceilings in the bar and dining area make everything a little more breathable when patrons pack in closely with pints and snacks.
The Verdict: Happy hour was well under way when we arrived at The Lobby and took a seat at the bar next to a couple discussing weather patterns. We were far more interested in debating which Great Divide beer was the best on The Lobby's tap line -- and grubbing.
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The most fantastic thing about the bar menu at The Lobby is that it's pretty damn eclectic. Nowhere in Denver can you have a bowl of mini corn dogs, a plate of chicken shawarma, and a glass of Colorado brew in front of you at the same time. The chicken shawarma, plump, seasoned bits of chicken breast wrapped in warm pita slices with tzatziki, is a refreshing change from the usual fried suspects -- and pleasantly filling to boot. But while the plate was good and the service sufficiently efficient, our bartender seemed distracted. In fact, we sensed tension between the staff while we were there -- an energy that was palpable throughout our experience at The Lobby.
Still, if you're looking for a nice place to have a few beers and good munches, The Lobby offers a lovely oasis away from the chaos of LoDo while still being close enough to walk to a game. Added bonuses: Parking is easy to come by, and that patio is killer.
Overall Grade: B