Happy Hour Hunt: Tavern Uptown

The Place: Tavern Uptown, 538 East Seventeenth Avenue, 303-830-9210.

The Hours: Happy hour plays out Monday through Saturday from 2 to 7 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to close; food specials run Monday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to midnight, and Twilight Hour runs Monday through Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m.

The Deal: During the early happy hour, the Tavern Uptown offers 2-for-1 well drinks, house wines and domestic swill pours. Twilight Hour offers $3 Bud and Bud Light drafts and $4 Three Olives vodka specials. The late-night happy hour delivers $3 Miller Light drafts and $4 Finlandia cocktails; appetizers are also half-price.

The Digs: The word 'tavern' gets thrown around rather loosely these days, but the Tavern Uptown is the real deal. The large and dimly lit main room beckons with oversize wooden booths, plenty of tables, and a long, wide barspace complete with gigantic flat screen televisions. A fireplace nook with plush couches nestles near the entrance to the back patio, which is heated and spacious and boasts mini bowling lanes.

The Verdict: The joint is nearly always buzzing with locals kicking back in the name of relaxation and camaraderie, but it's rarely so busy that you won't get a seat. In addition, you're guaranteed to hit some sort of drink special no matter what time you drop by. Add these two important tidbits to the welcoming decor, throw in a friendly and laid-back staff, and you've got yourself a great time. The food isn't bad for bar grub: Try the buffalo egg rolls, a southwest buffalo chicken delight served with a Gorgonzola and cucumber dipping sauce that's like a bionic and more delicious ranch dressing. But stay away from The Choke, a grilled artichoke with caper remoulade that leaves much to be desired.

Overall Grade: B+

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Kate Kennedy
Contact: Kate Kennedy