Happy-hour food is a buzzkill at the Corner Office

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Happy Place: The Corner Office, 1401 Curtis Street, 303-825-6500

The Hours: Daily from 4 to 6 p.m.; Sunday through Thursday from 9 p.m. to close

The Deals: $3-5 small plates; $1 PBR; $3 draft beers; $5 martinis and wines by the glass

Were we happy? Flip the page to find out.

The Digs: There is nothing work-related about The Corner Office, a funky cocktail lounge and restaurant nestled inside the Curtis Hotel. The room feels like a futuristic diner, the vibe is convivial and the bartenders are some of the friendliest in town. A spacious dining area sits behind large windows that overlook Curtis Street, but we usually find ourselves sucked into the bar, where plush, half-moon shaped booths give local theater geeks, downtown denizens and tourists a full observation deck of the ensuing debauchery.

The Verdict: We were not ending our work day, nor were we headed to the theater, but we did have friends in town staying at the Curtis Hotel, and The Corner Office seemed like a convenient place to unwind; we were feeling a little rowdy, too, and the pop music blaring from the speakers only fueled our energy.

Friendly, complimentary, and quick, the hospitable barkeeps made us feel as though we were longstanding regulars, but while the cocktails were decent, they felt contrived. The Pimm's cup we ordered was completely botched, and we sipped the syrupy flat concoction for only a minute before politely asking for something else. Unfortunately, the biggest fault of The Corner Office is that the food sucks. The pâté was slimy and too cold; the crab cake was underseasoned and mixed with an obscene amount of aioli; and the short rib and risotto fritters were an awkward attempt at culinary creativity, the side of salty tapenade only adding to the ick factor.

It's a shame that the food and libations at The Corner Office don't hold a candle to the outstanding service. We might consider returning to an establishment with fantastic food albeit shitty service -- but when nothing we've consumed at a restaurant lingers pleasantly in our minds, even the best hospitality can't get us to come back.

Overall Grade: C

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