Ogden Street South Keeps Going Despite Neighborhood Changes

Ogden Street South Bar & Grill is nestled in the Wash Park neighborhood on a residential street.
Ogden Street South Bar & Grill is nestled in the Wash Park neighborhood on a residential street. Sarah McGill
When I first moved to Denver, a friend lived in an apartment building in Washington Park near Ogden Street South Sports Bar & Grill. We loved going there on Friday and Saturday nights to sing karaoke to a youngish, fairly apathetic crowd. I considered it a personal challenge to try to select a song and perform dramatically enough to get people to notice.

Not a whole lot has changed at Ogden Street South — or OSS, as regulars call it. Singers still show up for karaoke on Friday and Saturday nights, but when I checked in at the old haunt on a Sunday afternoon with a couple of friends, things were fairly quiet. Gymnastics, soccer, the Rockies game and a few other baseball games occupied the many TV screens. Customers, including upscale millennials who probably lived in the nearby apartment complexes, some older guys and gals sporting Rockies gear, and a few families getting lunch clustered in booths in the back, at tables near the karaoke "stage," at the bar and out on the covered patio.

click to enlarge Pool tables, an open area for karaoke and comfortable booths fill the main barroom. - SARAH MCGILL
Pool tables, an open area for karaoke and comfortable booths fill the main barroom.
Sarah McGill
Sitting at one of the high-top tables, we had a good view of the comings and goings as well as the many forms of bar entertainment available. Near the entrance, there's Bonus Hole and Golden Tee. On the wall at the edge of the bar, shelves are filled with a small library's worth of books, in case you're looking for a good read. Behind the pool tables is a small game room with some great arcade selections: Big Buck Hunter, "Shoot to Win" basketball, two Skee-Ball machines and an electronic beer pong game. There are even Skee-Ball leagues here, run by Play Mile High.

My friends and I chatted over beers while we looked over the menu, full of bar snack classics, burgers, salads, sandwiches and some Greek specialties, and opted for nachos and onion rings. The food here isn't groundbreaking, but it all hits the spot.

Our server explained that the building once housed a Chinese restaurant and a food store (which is still indicated on the sign outside) before becoming a bar in 1973. It's been Ogden Street South since 1985.
click to enlarge The game room at OSS has an impressive selection of arcade games. - SARAH MCGILL
The game room at OSS has an impressive selection of arcade games.
Sarah McGill
Happy hour here runs from 3:30 to 6 p.m. every day but Sunday, offering $4 house wines and $4.50 craft beers and Ogden calls, which are basically the bartender's choice. Beyond happy hour, the $4 regular well price is a good deal, especially for this part of town. Other weekly deals include Monday night barbecue, with $6 ribs, wings and pulled pork sandwiches; Tower Tuesdays, with 20 percent off food and drink after 6:30 p.m. for residents of Country Club Towers and Country Club Gardens next door; Wednesday night cheesesteaks for $6; and Thursday Craft Bucket Night, with $20 buckets filled with five cans or bottles of craft beer. If you're not a beer lover, you can still show up on Thursdays for $6 Washington apple shots or apple-flavored mules. Every Tuesday through Friday, the bar offers several $10 "Fast Lunch" options for folks with offices nearby and Wash Park ladies who lunch. 

Before we left, our server told us a story about an elderly couple who came in for brunch. The woman whispered to him conspiratorially that her first husband had met his second wife here; she was long past sadness, though, and was presumably in the company of her own second spouse, he noted. Ogden Street South, hidden among the houses and apartment buildings of a quiet residential area, does seem like the kind of place perfect for secretive meetups or late-night hookups — whether over bar bites, billiards or karaoke.

Ogden Street South Bar & Grill is located at 103 South Ogden Street and is open from 10:30 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. to midnight Sunday. For more information, call 303-722-0592 or visit the bar's website.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sarah McGill is a contributor to Westword's Food & Drink section and can be found exploring Denver's neighborhood bars. She is also a ghost story and karaoke enthusiast. Despite not being from Colorado, Sarah and Denver have been in a long-term relationship, and it seems like this one might be for real.