Irish bars are known for being dark and often damp, but they are also supposed to reflect their neighborhoods, and the people who live in the Mayfair, Montclair and Park Hill neighborhoods don't want "dark" when it comes to any new restaurant on Colfax.
That's why Glen Eastwood and Andrew Cudden plan to do something a little different with the Abbey Tavern, which will open this fall at 5151 East Colfax Avenue.
"We were looking for something that would set us apart, so we will have that dark wood like a traditional Irish pub, but we'll also have garage doors that will let in as much sunshine as possible, so you don't feel like you're walking into a cave," Eastwood says. "The feedback we are getting from the neighbors is that they are crying for something more than a bar, so we'll be dog-friendly with bike racks and a patio. We want this to be a place where the whole family can ramble down on Sunday for brunch."
The menu will also also be inviting and inclusive, he says, with everything from traditional Irish dishes like fish and chips and Irish beef stew to seasonal choices like summer salads. There will also be a kids' menu and gluten-free choices.
The Abbey will have twelve beers on tap (after all, it's still an Irish pub) -- four Irish browns, four Colorado craft beers and four European standards -- along with a wide selection of Colorado craft beers in bottles. "I'm from a beer country and living in a beer state," Eastwood explains.
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Eastwood, who has been a manager at both Fado's and Casey's, and Cudden, who owns a painting business, are both natives of Ireland, but have been living in Denver for upward of fifteen years and decided that now was the time to do their own thing.
The building, which was home to Michael Jultak Floral Design for decades (the business still exists online), has several brick archways that will be incorporated into the design of the bar, lending it a monastic or Gothic look that inspired the Abbey Tavern name.
The Abbey's liquor license was recently approved, and the owners plan to begin construction soon. The Abbey Tavern should be open in late September or early October, Eastwood says.