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How do you know you're in a classic dive? It helps if the owner stands up and welcomes you to his place -- the place he's had for 58 years, and bought before he was old enough to own it legally.
Jerry Feld bought the bar at 404 Broadway back in 1951, and he's run Club 404 ever since -- even though, as he told the crowd assembled for the launch of Drew Bixby's Denver's Best Dive Bars: Drinking and Diving in the Mile High City, he initially thought he'd sell it for big bucks after a few years. Instead, it remains a family operation that's supported four children and now six grandchildren, and Jerry and his wife continue to come in every day to work the place and greet the regulars.
Which, after last night, no doubt include dozens of new fans whose parents weren't even born when Feld bought the 404.
For Bixby's list of the town's ten (okay, eleven) best dive bars, including the 404, click here. The celebration of his book -- and dive bars in general -- continues through the weekend, with a happy hour at Sweet Action, 52 Broadway, at 5:30 p.m. tonight, and a downtown bar crawl that kicks off tomorrow at 8 p.m. at El Chapultepec, 1962 Market Street. For more info, click here.