Even a great bartender can't make drinking any less dull at the Trinity Grille

Happy Place: Trinity Grille, 1801 Broadway, 303-293-2288.

The Hours: Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.

The Deals: $1 off all beer, well cocktails, house wines; free hors d'oeuvres

Were we happy? Flip the page to find out.

The Digs: The Trinity Grille sits in the shadow of the Brown Palace, a dated, less fussy option for those who aren't into a highfalutin' scene. It has the feel of a hotel bar, thanks to the generic brass lighting, and the dining room, set with tables graced with white linens, is framed by large windows peeking over Broadway; the slender oak bar runs along the front of the restaurant, and there's a TV in the corner to provide sound and company for the lonely tourists, business diners and power-lunchers who have gathered here forever.

The Verdict: The bartender placed a glass of cold beer in front of me, and I resisted the urge to slam the entire pint before asking him if there was a happy-hour menu. "We don't have a happy-hour menu," he replied, "but there are some free appetizers back there." He pointed to a small buffet table sitting in the dining area. Two cheese and vegetable trays sat on the table next to a warmer filled with stale hot wings.

The energy at the Trinity Grille is similarly stagnant, with melancholy patrons and an uninspiring list of libations. And like your mother always said, you get what you pay for -- in our case, free chicken wings that were dry and flavorless. The only real perk of the Trinity Grille is the staff. Our bartender was a seasoned pro, a gentle, wise lad with a penchant for remembering the life stories of everyone who walks through the door. This isn't a place where we long to spend endless hours drinking (or eating), but it's a stopping point for a quick beer or cocktail before moving on to somewhere with a pulse.

Overall Grade: C-

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