When people tout a neighborhood bar, they inevitably call it the "Cheers" of that neighborhood. Most recently, I heard that label applied to Alibi's Bar & Grill on South Broadway in Littleton. When a friend and I walked in to the friendly strip-mall saloon, no one knew our name..but it was clear that everyone knew everyone else's. A few bros, lots of couples and small groups were chatting around the big, squared-off, three-sided bar; a few other guys were playing a serious-looking game of pool in the back room. And every regular was greeted with his or her regular drink order.
Talking with some of those regulars, we learned that employees at Alibi's don't call their place "Cheers," but rather refer to it as the "Hotel California," from the Eagles song of the same name, in that "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."
Our bartender told us that she has worked at the bar for eight years, her daughter works there, too, and many other members of the staff have been around for over twenty years.
While Alibi's hasn't been around quite as long as "Hotel California," last November it celebrated thirty years in business. In the first few years, it was called the Stop N Rest, before it was remodeled and renamed Alibi's. The new name was a nod to the fact that this bar could indeed be an alibi for folks in need of something to tell their spouses, the law, or anyone else.
The entire time, the bar has been owned by Ali Esfahani, who is from Iran but has lived in the States for decades. His employees are considered part of the family; our bartender even lives in a property owned by Esfahani's mother-in-law and plays on a pool team with the owner and some of the other staff.
In the big front room of Alibi's, the busy walls are full of cutesy signs, stickers supporting veterans and sports memorabilia. I particularly enjoyed one sign that read: "On this site in 1897, nothing happened." The decor concept is similar to what I see in many neighborhood bars I visit — which is to say, there's no decor concept, just a hodgepodge of furniture, signs and everything else.
Pool leagues are popular at Alibi's, with games every Tuesday and Thursday on the two pool tables in the back, where there are also dart boards; pool is free on Monday. Other popular events include karaoke on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and multiple Texas Hold ’Em poker tournaments each week. Fundraisers that support causes related to veterans, or just to help people connected to the bar, are commonplace. The joint gets packed for Broncos games, to the point that people come hours early to grab tables and enjoy the crowd and touchdown Jell-O shots. There's quite a following for NASCAR races and Rockies games, too.
Food specials emphasizing the homemade green chile are offered throughout the week, including a slopper (a Pueblo invention that's basically an open-faced hamburger smothered in green chile) on Wednesdays, and a breakfast burrito deal all day Sunday. My friend took advantage of the $3.50 breakfast burrito; I went for the chili cheese tots, which wasn't a special but had the Alibi's green chile that's considered a house specialty. Not that spicy but full of flavor, it was complemented nicely (if oddly) by the side of ranch the bartender had suggested. The menu includes many more American and Mexican bar-food options, along with a few healthy salad and sandwich choices.
Drinks are a steal here all the time, but especially during happy hour, which runs from noon to 4 p.m. on the weekends and 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays. During weekday happy hours, $1.50 tacos and bean tostadas are great for cheap eats, but the real showstoppers are the free wings (until they run out) during happy hour every Friday.
Between the free wings and the karaoke, some Friday soon I'll definitely return to the Hotel California, the Cheers of Littleton, or whatever else you want to call Alibi's Bar & Grill.
I'm just calling it a good deal, and you don't need an excuse to enjoy that.
Alibi's Bar and Grill is located at 7983 South Broadway in Littleton and open from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. For more information, call 303-730-0123 or visit the bar's website.