Second Helpings

Irish eyes aren't smiling on Delaney's

On Sunday nights, the Celtic Tavern is closed and Delaney's is open. On Mondays, Delaney's goes dark and the Celtic handles any disappointed Delaney's drinkers. Every other night of the week, though, these side-by-side theme bars, which already share owners, share the same crowds, as well — a Celtic concentration, Denver's two-address Little Dublin.

But while the Celtic has a few things going for it, Delaney's has none. For starters, the place smells like shit — literally. It has an open-sewer stink that even the cigarette smoke can't cover. And while it enjoys the Celtic's cigar-bar loophole that allows you to smoke inside, it also suffers from the same Murphy's monopoly, which means no Guinness and (more important) no Harp. Newcastle is your only reasonable fallback. The two places share a kitchen and a menu, too, so all the sins of the Celtic's galley are revisited here: pork medallions hammered flat and textured like flank, topped with a cheesy béchamel and served with sweet-potato croquettes all gooey and cold in the center; passable fish and chips; Irish nachos that are just potato skins in Gaelic drag.

I do like the copper-topped bar at Delaney's. And the stage setup in front would be perfect for a little of that old rebel music. But still, this bar can't muster even the thin, interior charm of its sibling next door, and I can't imagine why I'd return here other than under the circumstance that landed me at Delaney's in the first place: a Sunday night with nothing else to do, the Celtic closed and dark, and me stuck downtown with a taste for a pint and some chips.