Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Mind Your Manors

In a recent column mourning the deaths of some of Denver's great dives -- Duffy's Shamrock, the Bamboo Hut (see second item here), I lamented the end of the Micky Manor, now turned into the 12th Man.

It's a Bronco bar, of course -- of which Denver already had too many. But the city only had one trademark-infringing bar with fake Minnie and Mickey (see the real thing above) neon in the windows, and trademark-approved Rockybilt hamburgers on the menu. Both of those hallmarks are now gone, but in a letter responding to my column, the bar's new owner promised that should I visit, "there will be a warm stool and a cold brew with your name on it."

Warm stool...yum!

Despite the slightly unappetizing invitation, yesterday I did drop by the bar at 2544 Federal Boulevard, grabbed a booth instead of that stool, and bought myself a cold brew and a look around the place. Although it seems to have been given a new coat of Bronco-blue paint and is loaded up with Bronco memorabilia, it still feels like a neighborhood joint that's been around forever -- or at least as long as football has been worshipped in this town. But the sliders aren't quite the old Rockybilt version (and you can find mini-burgers everywhere these days), and I couldn't help but think that switching out a name that's been around since 1932 for yet another Bronco bar wasn't a good trade.

It feels like a Mickey Mouse deal.

For a working list of local dives still worthy of a visit, go here. -- -- Patricia Calhoun