Mon dieu! The moment this hip, French-inspired restaurant opened, the beautiful people started flocking to the dining room. From there, though, they got a good look at the bar, a cozy yet chic enclave that sports six-foot-high chairs covered in plush fabric with a tilt to the seat, offering extra padding for delicate tushies that have been out clubbing all night; overstuffed lounge chairs and booths for large groups that like to mingle; and a long bar with stools for perching in case you must hop off and hobnob now. Just two months after Sacre Bleu's debut, you can hardly get into the lounge area, which seats fifty and is standing room only on the weekends. But true bar-hoppers will persevere, and their efforts will be rewarded with a varied appetizer menu -- try the scallops and anything with truffles -- as well as an extensive wine and champagne list, drinks prepared by bartenders who look at mixology as both an art and a science, and the best beautiful-people-watching in town.

Readers' choice: Blue 67

My Brother's Bar
Westword
Not only is this a bar where everyone knows your name, but the bar itself is so secure in its identity that it doesn't bother to announce its name outside. You don't need a sign to find your way to My Brother's Bar, however; anyone and everyone who appreciates a good drink -- with or without good company -- knows the way there. The brother is Jim Karagas, who's presided over this spot for almost three decades; his late brother, Angelo, used to run the Wazee Lounge and Supper Club eight blocks down 15th Street. For the record, My Brother's is at the corner of 15th and Platte streets, where it once stood out as an oasis of civilization in the deserted Platte Valley; today it's an oasis of neighborliness in an area that's increasingly highbrow (million-dollar "lofts" will soon rise just a block away). But inside My Brother's Bar, time stands still: A letter from Neal Cassady still hangs in the phone booth, classical music is still piped over the dark-wood booths, Girl Scout cookies are still sold through much of the year, and those great bar burgers (the Johnny burger is our favorite) are still served well into the early hours of the morning. The place has made a few concessions to progress, however: It added a great urban patio ten years back, and the menu has slowly expanded (gazpacho is this summer's special). My Brother's: Everyone should know this joint's name.

Readers' choice: My Brother's Bar

Not only is this a bar where everyone knows your name, but the bar itself is so secure in its identity that it doesn't bother to announce its name outside. You don't need a sign to find your way to My Brother's Bar, however; anyone and everyone who appreciates a good drink -- with or without good company -- knows the way there. The brother is Jim Karagas, who's presided over this spot for almost three decades; his late brother, Angelo, used to run the Wazee Lounge and Supper Club eight blocks down 15th Street. For the record, My Brother's is at the corner of 15th and Platte streets, where it once stood out as an oasis of civilization in the deserted Platte Valley; today it's an oasis of neighborliness in an area that's increasingly highbrow (million-dollar "lofts" will soon rise just a block away). But inside My Brother's Bar, time stands still: A letter from Neal Cassady still hangs in the phone booth, classical music is still piped over the dark-wood booths, Girl Scout cookies are still sold through much of the year, and those great bar burgers (the Johnny burger is our favorite) are still served well into the early hours of the morning. The place has made a few concessions to progress, however: It added a great urban patio ten years back, and the menu has slowly expanded (gazpacho is this summer's special). My Brother's: Everyone should know this joint's name.

Readers' choice: My Brother's Bar

After a shaky start, the railway-themed Great Northern Tavern has arrived. Not only has the kitchen gotten its act together -- it now puts out such inspired fare as seared sea scallops in a lemon-Riesling sauce with fennel mashed potatoes and wild-rice-dusted walleye in a port beurre rouge -- but the pub makes excellent beers. Down a pint of the hoppy Cascadian Pale Ale, with its malt bottom line and sweet scent, or the creamy, chocolate-heavy Empire Builder Stout, or the sharp, almost chewy Western Star Wheat, an American-style wheat that's delicious on its own or accompanying Great Northern's hearty chicken pot pie. All aboard!

Readers' choice: Wynkoop Brewing Company

After a shaky start, the railway-themed Great Northern Tavern has arrived. Not only has the kitchen gotten its act together -- it now puts out such inspired fare as seared sea scallops in a lemon-Riesling sauce with fennel mashed potatoes and wild-rice-dusted walleye in a port beurre rouge -- but the pub makes excellent beers. Down a pint of the hoppy Cascadian Pale Ale, with its malt bottom line and sweet scent, or the creamy, chocolate-heavy Empire Builder Stout, or the sharp, almost chewy Western Star Wheat, an American-style wheat that's delicious on its own or accompanying Great Northern's hearty chicken pot pie. All aboard!

Readers' choice: Wynkoop Brewing Company

Talk about a return to the scene of the crime. Bartender Doug Hollaran, who has the fastest hands and the quickest wit in the business, held forth in the '80s and early '90s at such infamous Cherry Creek boîtes as Rodney's and the late, lamented Bay Wolf. Now he's back on familiar ground -- behind the mahogany at the upscale Manhattan Grill. (Those who have lived here longer than eight minutes -- and you know who you are --realize, of course, that the Manhattan Grill is the former Bay Wolf.) Old friends will be delighted to find Hollaran back where he belongs, and new ones will delight in meeting him. The big Irishman has lost none of his charm; he remains one of the city's most valuable citizens -- and certainly one of its most congenial companions.

Readers' choice: Jeremy at the Park Tavern

Talk about a return to the scene of the crime. Bartender Doug Hollaran, who has the fastest hands and the quickest wit in the business, held forth in the '80s and early '90s at such infamous Cherry Creek boîtes as Rodney's and the late, lamented Bay Wolf. Now he's back on familiar ground -- behind the mahogany at the upscale Manhattan Grill. (Those who have lived here longer than eight minutes -- and you know who you are --realize, of course, that the Manhattan Grill is the former Bay Wolf.) Old friends will be delighted to find Hollaran back where he belongs, and new ones will delight in meeting him. The big Irishman has lost none of his charm; he remains one of the city's most valuable citizens -- and certainly one of its most congenial companions.

Readers' choice: Jeremy at the Park Tavern

Rough day at the office? The Avenue Grill's martinis will shake it right out of you. The bar offers about a dozen ways to stir things up, each one a well-balanced concoction that's sure to please. Gin or vodka, vermouth or not, two olives or six -- whatever your poison, the Avenue's got the antidote to a bad mood. Sidle up to the smooth, classic-looking bar and have the bartender -- who'll remember you next time, we bet -- mix one up while you decide whether you need one of the Grill's superb burgers to go with it. If your day has been really rough, go for the wicked Crown Royal Manhattan, which won't just put hair on your chest -- it'll put hair on the hair on your chest. We can see-through clearly now.

Readers' choice: Purple Martini

Rough day at the office? The Avenue Grill's martinis will shake it right out of you. The bar offers about a dozen ways to stir things up, each one a well-balanced concoction that's sure to please. Gin or vodka, vermouth or not, two olives or six -- whatever your poison, the Avenue's got the antidote to a bad mood. Sidle up to the smooth, classic-looking bar and have the bartender -- who'll remember you next time, we bet -- mix one up while you decide whether you need one of the Grill's superb burgers to go with it. If your day has been really rough, go for the wicked Crown Royal Manhattan, which won't just put hair on your chest -- it'll put hair on the hair on your chest. We can see-through clearly now.

Readers' choice: Purple Martini

Every corner of janleone, a Mediterranean eatery located in an old East Colfax mansion, is warm and inviting -- from the charming garden patio to the lovely main dining room. But there's something about the cozy Col-Mar bar area -- named after the intersection of Colfax and Marion, where the restaurant sits -- with its baby grand flanked by comfy rounded chairs and tables, that makes this a very special spot. The pianist changes, but it's often Steven Johnson or Chris Veltry, and no matter who's tickling the ivories, they have us feelin' all right each Friday and Saturday night. That's when you can also nosh from the Col-Mar Bar menu, which features some of chef/owner Jan Leone's specialties, including crispy calamari and a half-pound lamb burger slathered with cucumber yogurt sauce and sided by addictive French fries. Play it again, Jan.

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