Bars and restaurants change fast along Federal Boulevard — but a transformation on Saturday may have set a record. Early in the afternoon, a sign on 1703 Federal promised the "grand opening" of El Patron Sports Bar in the space that had turned into El Luchador last summer
. But that incarnation didn't last long, because the El Luchador sign was now gone and new patio railings had been set up on the sidewalk outside — although there was no evidence that the place would soon celebrate a grand opening. Just a few hours later, though, and right in time for the Big Drums Along the Rockies gathering at Sports Authority field, the space had been transformed with a new coat of paint, balloons floating above the patio, and both doors — including a brand-new one cut in the wall — now open.
Before this address belonged to El Luchador, it was occupied by Los Agaves, a Mexican joint that Mark Antonation visited for his Ethniche series
. "On drives past Los Agaves on Denver Broncos game days, with Sports Authority Field looming directly across the street, I've seen the teeming parking lot full of orange-clad revelers sloshing with beer and green chile," he wrote in December 2013, "but on a weeknight, the echos of the game are just a memory and the victory cheers only a muted rumble from that soccer game broadcast, atypically, at low volume. A couple of my friends even said it's their regular pre-game hangout, even if they couldn't remember the name of the place. Such is the fate of a vast majority of Mexican restaurants on Federal Boulevard (and across the city). Popularity is more about location than the quality of food or service; the money trickles in and keeps the place in business for another day, another month."
How will El Patron fare under this formula? Keep watching Federal Boulevard to find out.