I haven't spent much time in Northglenn, but a few of my friends have lived there over the years because it's more affordable than Denver. I recently made the drive, after picking up a companion visiting from California, to The Glenn Bar & Grill, which came well recommended from my Northglenn pals.
It was a Tuesday afternoon, early enough to catch the daytime crowd, primarily comprising friendly, casually dressed older men nursing beers on bar stools. My friend and I took a seat next to a couple of gentlemen who knew each other (and everyone else in the place), and who were quick to proclaim their love for the Glenn and give us the intel on the clientele, the menu and the happenings at the bar. A few couples in booths, some younger bros getting their weekend started on a Tuesday, and a large group of retired couples eating and gossiping in the dining room rounded out the evening's people-watching.
We arrived during happy hour, which runs from 2 to 6 p.m. daily, offering a multitude of beer specials, including $1.75 PBRs, $2.75 Domestic bottles, $2.25 Bud Light drafts and $1 off premium drafts. Also available for a bargain are several half-price appetizers and two-for-one well drinks. My friend and I opted for some mixed well drinks, and got "wooden nickel" drink tokens for our second round. We also ordered some chips and queso (something my friend orders whenever she's in Colorado because she can't seem to find it where she lives in California). Our compatriots at the bar recommended not only the queso, but the jalapeño cheeseburgers (or JCBs), various brunch offerings (which we couldn't order, since brunch is only served on weekends), and the spicy Reuben sandwich. Our new friend explained that he is currently boycotting the Glenn's Reuben because he recently got laid off from the local plant that provides the corned beef for this dish.
Our bar informants recommended, and then subsequently ordered us the Glenn's "breakfast shot," since we couldn't get brunch. The drink comes in two glasses, one with maple whiskey and a bacon garnish, and the other with an orange juice chaser. It did indeed taste just like a nice afternoon breakfast. During the Glenn's actual brunch, served until 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, there are also $2 mimosas and a Bloody Mary bar with all the fixings.
The Glenn is owned by the same group that runs Teller's Taproom & Kitchen (the subject of one of my previous neighborhood bar visits) in Lakewood, and Sloan's Bar & Grill in Edgewater. Joe, Steve and Matt Vostrejs and Rod Wagner have owned the place since 2011 and pride themselves on bringing friendly, ever-so-slightly-upscale neighborhood spots with good drinks and food made in-house to the Denver metro area. The interior also has the mark of a bar owned by this group, with tin ceilings, large antique-looking wooden booths, and historic black-and-white photos of Northglenn landmarks hanging on the walls that also vaguely recall the look of Teller's and Sloan's. Outside, there's a large patio that really gets hopping in the warmer weather, according to the Glenn's regulars.
As the afternoon shadows lengthened, a regular who looked to be in his forties came in and made the rounds with everyone in the bar before sitting next to us and ordering a beer with three orange slices, apparently his usual. He then tossed a few paper coasters across the bar at a friend of his, who retaliated with a coaster of his own, which landed dangerously close to our queso. He also gave the bartender some good-natured ribbing about how many man buns can be seen behind the bar these days (our bartender did, in fact, sport a man bun of his own). When the bartender explained that he only wore his hair up to keep it out of everyone's drinks, the response was, "But no one made you put that plaid shirt on."
Our new friends pointed out that a new general manager, Brian Dietz, started at the Glenn last year, making a few upgrades at the bar (including adding draft Coors Light, much to the delight of regulars) and hiring a better (if slightly more hipster) staff. Despite the man buns and the plaid shirts, the Glenn remains the kind of place where customers demand Coors Light instead of kombucha or barrel-aged sours.
The Glenn hosts a wide range of entertainment, with Thursday and Friday night karaoke drawing an eclectic crowd, a variety of live bands on Saturdays and Sundays, Rock 'n' Roll Bingo on Mondays, and Geeks Who Drink trivia every Tuesday night, bringing in a younger crowd. And in case you want to see some homegrown talent try their luck on the microphone, the first Wednesday of every month is open-mic night. For food and drink specials, there's Saturday Prime Rib dinner and Tuesday "Bucket O' Chicken" night, and kids eat free on Tuesdays, so it's a good night to go if you have a big family. The Glenn also offers a free $25 food-and-drink tab for your birthday; you can keep the tab running for your entire birthday month.
One of our bar neighbors told us that the Glenn supports local artists, pointing to the wooden wine-bottle holders on the bar that he made himself, evidence that this is the kind of place that reflects life in the neighborhood. The regulars and bartenders here refer to the Glenn by the common bar term "third place," where you spend most of your time outside work and home. The Glenn is a welcoming third place for Northglenn neighbors — and anyone else who decides to drop by.
The Glenn is located at 11140 Irma Drive in Northglenn and is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Brunch service starts an hour earlier (10 a.m.) on Saturday and Sunday. For more details, call 303-255-1400 or visit the Glenn Bar & Grill website.
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