I'd heard about The Majestic Saloon in Aurora from a few different people I know (and I can't forget a name like the Majestic), but until recently I'd never been — or even knew where to find it. But I decided to trust their recommendations and meet a friend there, so I found the place on the map and went over for Saturday drinks.
I discovered the Majestic hiding at the back of a shopping center on South Parker Road near I-225, sharing a parking lot with a Dairy Queen, Renegade Burrito, and various other small shops. I was dismayed to know I had passed this way many times without stopping in, but glad that I was finally making it happen. My friend was familiar with the spot; she used to come here frequently for taco deals when she had small kids and a small budget.
My first impression was that the Majestic is much bigger inside than it appears from outside. In fact, I had to wander around for a bit to find my friend, who was seated at a booth near her old regular spot from years ago. The entrance opens onto a long bar topped with stained-glass panels. Behind a partial wall, there's a small stage ringed with art deco-style leather booths, and another secluded seating area behind that. Also on that side of the space are several pool tables, a shuffleboard table, darts and Big Buck Hunter. Throughout the bar, cheery decorations leftover from Mardi Gras sparkled among twinkling strings of lights, along with the occasional snowflake decoration mingled with beer signs and other typical bar paraphernalia on the walls.
Above the stage, a banner proudly announced karaoke DJ Sassy, in anticipation of patrons hitting the stage on Wednesday night, when the songs are mostly country and rock, but with a few other styles thrown in, according to our server. Those words also accurately describe the clientele here, which comprised several biker types, a few guys in cowboy hats speaking Spanish at the table in the corner, a few other guys in cowboy hats speaking English at the bar, and a few folks whose clothing and hats didn't peg them as either country or rock. The jukebox at the Majestic, a real one from the era before TouchTunes wireless versions took over, vacillated wildly between the likes of Kid Rock, the Doors, Keith Urban and Eminem over the span of several drinks.
To go along with our drinks, we foolishly ordered the "2-person nachos," as listed on the menu, realizing after the plate arrived that any two people these nachos were designed for must be competitive nacho eaters. The massive mound of chips and toppings tasted great, with plenty of everything on them, and a crispy, oven-baked texture. We did our best, but probably left at least a third of the nachos behind. Other crowd-pleasers from the large menu are burgers, burritos and other Mexican fare: chile rellenos, tamales, enchiladas. As my friend and I caught up, and eventually another friend joined a little later, we melted into the calm Saturday afternoon at the bar and the dark-but-not-gloomy interior.
Our server, an Iowa transplant, was friendly and shared with us some interesting tidbits from her two years on the job. The bar has been around much longer than that, established as the Majestic in 1981. Longtime owner Stacy Meadows has kept things consistent, if old-school, with an actual cash register and a distinct lack of WiFi, a fact bemoaned by some customers, but appreciated by others because it keeps conversation flowing when everyone in the place isn't staring at their phones.
Holidays are a big deal at the Majestic, according to our server, with every holiday meriting decoration, celebration, posters, live music, and beer and liquor marketing that often includes a version of the Majestic's jester mascot. For Thanksgiving, it's a turkey with a jester's hat, on St. Patrick's Day, the jester carries a green beer, and on Halloween, the jester and the tiny jester head on his scepter turn into pumpkins. Occasionally the stage hosts comedy shows or live music for a fun night unrelated to any holiday.
But no matter what day it is, you can find huge servings of tasty food, random and varied jams pumping from the jukebox, and friendly regulars at this bar nearly invisible to traffic on Parker Road. It truly is majestic — in a way only a neighborhood bar can be.
The Majestic Saloon is located at 3140 South Parker Road in Aurora and is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. For more information call 303-695-4478 or visit the bar's Facebook page.