The Dam Grille is named for the dam and road that forms the northern edge of the Cherry Creek Reservoir but is located at 8000 East Quincy Avenue — not particularly close to the dam itself, but in the same shopping center as Micro Center, where many nonprofit organizations (like the one I work for at my day job) go to buy discounted computer equipment.
The Dam Grille is welcoming from the outside, with a blazing fire in an outdoor fireplace on the corner of the well-appointed front patio, which is otherwise filled with tables made from liquor barrels. Inside, the place is decorated in a style I like to call "Colorado modern," with corrugated metal wall panels accented with shiny wood bar surfaces and tables and fake stonework. The split-level space has a few pool tables and many large TVs upstairs and a wraparound bar downstairs. Large mirrors on the walls add to the spacious feeling, as do the huge fish tanks lining the back wall behind the bar. I appreciate a good bar fish tank, a rare find in Colorado. The Dam Grille's is one of the largest I've seen, with a whole ecosystem of colorful fish inside.
After a quick tour of the place, we settled in at the bar, where customers were watching hockey, college basketball and Happy Gilmore. Our bartender noted that during football season, the Dam hosts Broncos fans, just like everywhere else in town, but is also a haven for Minnesota Vikings supporters. There's even a plaque on the wall with the words to some sort of Vikings chant or cheer.
Suburban dads, Colorado bros in their twenties and thirties, and after-work groups of guys and gals grazed on appetizers and downed beers and shots. A few folks played pool in the upper level, but most of the patrons were seated at the bar or adjacent tables near us. The bartenders told us about weekly events like weekend brunch with bottomless mimosas, and Wednesday night Ladies' Night, with priced-to-move $2 Bud and Bud Light drafts and Pinnacle vodka drinks, including fancy flavored martinis. Pool is only 25 cents on Tuesdays, and on Sundays during football season, the bar runs fun jersey giveaway raffles.
Life in the south ’burbs didn't seem too bad, based on our brief visit to the Dam Grille. Even if a big house with a big back yard is out of the question, cheap and tasty drinks and bar food are universal — whether you're in north Denver or SoHam.