Breakfast and Brunch

Brunch of the Week: Up on the Rooftop at Historians Ale House

The rooftop patio at Historians Ale House is a great setting for brunch.
The rooftop patio at Historians Ale House is a great setting for brunch. Bridget Wood
Sundays at Historians Ale House (24 Broadway) are reserved for brunch with veteran bartender Brad Richardson — and his red and green dreadlocks are only half as colorful as his personality. Richardson slings beers and enviable travel stories on the spacious rooftop bar, something that may have escaped the attention (as it did mine, until recently) of Denver brunch-seekers looking for an extensive beer selection and a beautiful rooftop view of the mountains.

Richardson has been behind the bar at Historians for four years and says that brunch has become his favorite shift. “They call it Sunday Funday for a reason,” he notes.

click to enlarge If you're not into breakfast, brunch includes lunch items, too. - BRIDGET WOOD
If you're not into breakfast, brunch includes lunch items, too.
Bridget Wood
Beverage director Chris Maynard has created fan-favorite drink specials and cultivated an extensive draft list with forty beers on tap, many from small Colorado brewers. The $10 bottomless mimosas are a great deal, but they're overshadowed by the $5 Bloody Mary bar. With five different hot sauces and plenty of mix-ins, you can create the morning cocktail of your dreams.

Now for the important part: the eclectic brunch menu. According to general manager Ben Melius, the most popular dishes are the Monte Cristo and the Spanish Hangover, and for good reason. The Monte Cristo is piled high with deli meats and comes with a side of homemade raspberry jelly that we scooped out with our fingers after running out of sandwich. The Spanish Hangover — a decadent heap of creamed potatoes, cheese, chorizo, roasted red peppers and fried eggs — is a good size (especially for the price), and a topping of spicy Hollandaise sauce made for a rich and zingy finish. Both dishes come with home fries, though in the Spanish Hangover they are hidden, with excavation being half the fun.

click to enlarge Stock up on salty and spicy flavors at the self-serve Bloody Mary bar. - BRIDGET WOOD
Stock up on salty and spicy flavors at the self-serve Bloody Mary bar.
Bridget Wood
Black Forest pancakes are just as sweet as the dessert of the same name; the dish comes with two fluffy chocolate-chip pancakes sandwiching chocolate mousse and topped with cherries and whipped cream. You also get a side of eggs and bacon — almost an afterthought alongside the enormous hotcakes.

Brunch also includes several lunch items, like a basket of hand-trimmed and breaded chicken strips that crunch loudly with each bite. There's also a build-your-own burger that comes adorably wrapped up and tied with twine.

click to enlarge BRIDGET WOOD
Bridget Wood

Heat lamps hang from the ceiling and stand in every corner to help drive away the chill on cool mornings, since even on the enclosed portion of the rooftop bar, the doors are usually left open. While half of the deck is a bar setting with high-tops, the other half has a fireplace and TVs.

Melius notes that brunch is a neighborhood favorite, especially in the warmer months. “In the summer it gets packed up here. The kitchen is cooking, it’s good times, and we have a blast. The staff here is great, and they really make this job fun,” he explains.

The Historians team also runs RiNo Beer Garden at 3800 Walnut Street, where you can find similar brunch offerings and more of Maynard's devotion to craft beer: The beer garden boasts sixty brews on tap.

Brunch is served at Historians Ale House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. Call 720-479-8505 or visit the bar's website for more information.
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Bridget Wood is a contributor to Westword’s Food & Drink section. She can be found wandering Denver, mimosa in hand, searching for the best brunch spots the city has to offer. She spends her weekends shopping for obscure records and working on the Sunday crossword puzzle. Despite her Boston roots, she is learning to love green chile.