Roo Bar serves drinks in a sort-of neighborhood, if you count the I-25 ramps and nearby high-rise condos and hotels as a neighborhood. Technically the bar sits within Globeville's boundaries, but it's cut off from clusters of houses in the area by railroad tracks, highway overpasses and the South Platte River.
Isolated on a little strip mall island, Roo Bar earns its apt tagline: "Your friendly neighborhood bar without all that pesky neighborhood." The bar hasn't always been here; in the ’90s and early 2000s, it was an underground pool hall in Cherry Creek North, before being forced out by rising rents, redevelopment and commensurate increases in poshness, making things less than hospitable for bars without mixologists or bottle service. After a short hiatus, Roo Bar was resurrected in Globeville in 2008.
I went for a visit with my roommates to try some of the much-hyped Roo Bar "crack wings" and have a beer on a Wednesday after work. We looked over the extensive patio area on the way in, but as the nights are getting cooler and there was a guy smoking out there, we opted to sit inside at a comfy booth near the window. Late-season baseball games and the U.S. Open were playing on TVs above the bar, but the large, high-ceilinged space wasn't as loud as I thought it would be. A mix of tourists, couples, bros and youngish groups of after-work drinkers were spread out in little clusters at the bar and throughout the dining room. There's plenty of square footage here for big parties, and plenty of screens for viewing various games.
In addition to hometown Broncos games, Roo Bar specializes in Wisconsin sports, and Wisconsin things in general, with signs and decorations from the Badger state and fried cheese curds on the menu, which we sampled. The cheese curds were bigger and breadier than some I've had, but tasty, for sure. The real highlight of the menu for us was the wings. We ordered a bucket — which you can split and get with multiple flavors and dipping sauces — filled with the crack wings as well as classic hot wings. Both were good, but the crack wings were a standout, with a sweet, tangy, peppery sauce on top of a well-textured, crispy base of a wing. The three of us went hard on the very large portion of wings and nearly finished them all.
We also got a pitcher of Blue Moon, which was on special for $12, a price that feels like a return to the ’90s. Happyphour food and drink here are a steal, with $3 craft drafts, $2.50 domestic drafts, $3 well drinks and house wines, and deals on certain appetizers every weekday from 4 to 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Happy hour runs all day on Mondays, and other notable specials include Thursday all-you-can-eat wings, and Saturday and Sunday $12 bottomless mimosas, screwdrivers and Bloody Marys from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. So if you want to drink all day while watching football, this is the place for your next game day, especially if you are a Wisconsin fan or don't mind being around a lot of Cheeseheads while watching your team of choice. It also doesn't hurt that during every Packers game, you can get free beer from kickoff until the first time the Packers score (putting Green Bay fans in the unfortunate position of rooting for a shutout).
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For other forms of entertainment, the Roo Bar offers Trivia of Colorado on Wednesday nights, a Tuesday night music trivia option, R&B DJs on Saturday nights, and a vast array of bar games, including pool tables, a Skee-bBall machine, pinball, a claw game and Big Buck Hunter. Or you can just enjoy a drink with a view of the Denver skyline from the window or the patio.
Cheese curds, Badger sports, buckets of wings and cold beers — all worthy draws to this neighborhood bar without a neighborhood.
Roo Bar is located at 3480 Park Avenue West and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Visit the bar's website or call 303-455-8700 for more information.