"What's the Tour de France?" asked the guy who picked up the phone at the Celtic Tavern. "I don't know what that is, but I'm sure if you come in and ask, we'll turn it on," said a young woman who answered the phone at Big Game.
Cycling enthusiasts are likely already aware of the seeming dearth of local interest in the peddling world's greatest annual televised event, and the news isn't much better for the casual fan searching for a place to chill and see if Lance Armstrong's still got it.
That's because there aren't a whole lot of places around the city to watch cycling's premier athletes haul ass over more than 2,000 miles of French, Dutch and Belgian countryside between tomorrow and July 25. Still, we did some research and uncovered a handful of joints where you can hopefully score some viewing time.
Herewith, our suggestions:
1. The best bet: The staff at Illegal Pete's University of Denver location at 1744 East Evans Avenue definitely know what the Tour de France is, boldly venturing so far as to say they'll likely show it every day and even throw in some specials.
2. The commuting option: Unlike most coffee shops, Dazbog's location at 1100 East 17th Avenue actually has televisions and the folks there showed what appeared to be sincere interest in broadcasting some of the tour. We like the idea of waking up to coffee over a grueling mountain stage.
3.The "I'll take my chances" option: GB Fish and Chips, with locations at 1311 South Broadway and 2175 Sheridan Boulevard, will likely turn the telly to the World Cup or Wimbledon, but during downtime, they'll totally turn on the tour for you.
4. For old time's sake: It may no longer be Denver's favorite cycling hangout, but that doesn't mean the Handle Bar and Grill's new incarnation as the Downing Street Bar and Grill, located at 205 South Downing, isn't down for some cycling action this month. Ask and you shall receive.
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5. Foolproof option: Make friends with some bike shop dudes, since they all seem to be having house viewing parties, and you might get some good home cooking out of the deal. The tour is televised daily on Versus between July 3 and July 25 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and again from 8 to 11 p.m.