But Local 46 is different -- by design.
"People were afraid of us becoming another yuppie bar, but we didn't want that," says owner Niya Diehl, who opened the bar two years ago with boyfriend Grant Gingerich, owner of El Camino in the nearby Highlands Square shopping district.Local 46 replaced the famously divey Music Bar, which closed in 2012 after 75 years in business. Deihl and Gingerich wanted to retain the dive-bar feel with what she calls a "clean, classier, dressed-up" look: still dark, still divey, with music almost every night, but without the grime.
And they succeeded. The original bar still stands, as does the maroon tufted bar back, which local Gall "Bernie" Bern said he made for Music Bar in 1972.
But the divey feel stops once you hit the door to the patio. Local 46's patio, or rather biergarten, has been open for over a year, but its treasures haven't been explored by droves of Denver patio lovers. Yet.
When Diehl and Gingerich opened Local 46, they intended to transform the adjacent, trash-filled dirt lot into a beirgarten, which they did last year after a six-week trip to Eastern Europe to check out a number of old-world classics.
Like every good patio, Local 46's has games; there's a bocce ball court, cornhole and a ping-pong table (as well as a pool table inside). All are free for customers, but the games aren't what earn this secluded spot Patio of the Week honors. Instead, it's the sizable patio's winning atmosphere.The 2900 square-foot, non-smoking patio evokes a city escape, without having to tackle I-70's construction traffic jams. Its tall fence cuts off car-heavy Tennyson Street and 46th Avenue, and the picnic tables, three fire pits, unique woody nooks, and gravel crunching underfoot make you feel like you're at a campground with a bar on the side.
Read more about Local 46's biergarten.