One of the first things I notice about Lodo's Bar & Grill (1946 Market Street) is that many of the female employees have curves, and I don't mean the humps made by a pair of 34Ds over a size-two waist. I mean hips, and asses that explain themselves. This actually puts me at ease. It makes the place more human and less, well, LoDo. It also tells me that management looks female applicants in the eyes when they introduce themselves, and I respect that.
All of this is not to say that Lodo's — a sports bar in every way — is above the Saturday-night slut harvest, or that none of the dudes in here have IQs lower than their golf scores. It's not, and they do. But unless you're a pretentious bike messenger or the type of self-righteous hipster who still uses the term "sellout" and means it, you understand that most of the Chads and Chelseys who hang out in LoDo are, more often than not, good people simply looking to get lit up and lucky. Plus, since Lodo's has at least 24 beers on tap and downtown's largest rooftop patio, I say oh-fucking-well to the hints of meat-market douchebaggery that linger here. I am a skyline romantic, and thanks to a Shock Top/Hoegaarden/Shiner Bock hat trick, I'm feeling real good about this place and its triumphant views.
The views from the rooftop patio are actually the reason I'm here. Mags and I have decided we want to throw our 150+-person wedding next June in a bar (fitting, no?), and so I'm on a quest for the perfect spot. It doesn't take long for me to realize that the newly remodeled rooftop at Lodo's — with its skyline, Coors Field and Rocky Mountain vistas; hanging lantern lights and corner brick fireplace; impressive beer selection and wraparound bar; and spacious, partially covered (and heated) layout — could end my expedition before it even has a chance to unfurl its wings. This would be fine by me: Already we've researched the Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA in Winter Park (devastated by pine beetles and judgmental about booze), the Maggie in Breck (way, way too expensive) and the possibility of buying a house and having a block party. Relatively speaking, we've just begun, but we're already exhausted and ready to make a decision.
As my smorgasbord of pints continues and the Rockies pre-party starts to thin out, I make a bar-wedding wish list. Sure things: running a photo slide show on all these flat-screen TVs; making our own playlist of songs and managing the music from an iPod. Only-if-we're-luckys: Guest-bartending the first hour of our reception so that we can see everyone and keep the tips; skipping the whole banquet-menu, per-person bullshit and negotiating a custom booze-and-food arrangement that doesn't sacrifice our ability to make next July's rent. When Mags shows up to join me for dinner, we move to a table in the sun, where she unveils a great meal-serving idea that involves guests choosing a color-coded card representing what they want to eat and then slipping it into a photo-holder-thingy when they're ready. This would be especially low-key and on the cheap if the choices (narrowed down by us) came straight off the normal menu and we were charged as such.
What I really want to find is a bar with an open-minded manager or event planner who is willing to dump the wedding-reception formula with the contents of the ashtrays and trade ideas over beers; negotiate the price of food and alcohol so that we don't have to count drinks or only serve apps; recognize that we're good people simply looking to get lit up and lucky on our wedding night. Is Lodo's that place? Maybe. But I'm certainly open to ideas.
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