How do I know Denver loves its patios? Because it's almost impossible to get a seat on a nice day at the better-known spots. That's why I'm almost hesitant to tell you about Bogey's on The Park, because part of the appeal is that people don't know about it yet.
In a city of gentrified neighborhoods, hipster bars and sidewalk patios that are as much a place to be seen as a place to eat, Bogey's is a breath of fresh air -- literally and figuratively.
Bogey's sits on the edge of City Park Golf Course, nestled on the back side of the clubhouse and barely visible from the street. Unless you've played the golf course, you probably haven't seen the restaurant.
I discovered Bogey's and its unpretentious patio (after all, it's a city course, not a country club) a few months after moving to Whittier, when I visited the course's driving range.
The patio isn't much to look at, but that's part of its appeal. It has typical backyard patio tables and chairs (which were thankfully upgraded earlier this year) under beer- and liquor-sponsored umbrellas. There are no yard games unless you count Shag Ball, a game that one of the Tuesday-night league teams invented. It consists of tossing balls from the patio onto the chipping green; closest ball to the hole wins the money pot.
But what the patio lacks in flair it makes up in location. Behind the clubhouse and elevated above the sidewalk, it's the ideal spot for people-watching without being watched yourself. Because its clientele is mostly the before- and after- 18-holes crowd, it's rarely packed; Tuesday evenings are the busiest because of the golf league.
Continue reading for the best deal at Bogey's...
Looking out onto the greens and fairways, you forget you're in a major city. Even though you can see bustling York Street from part of the patio, you can't hear the traffic (that much), and on Sundays, waves of music from Jazz in the Park waft over on the breeze.
The edible fare from the kitchen is pretty standard: burgers, chicken wraps, salads, BLAT sandwiches, nachos. The weekend brunch runs until 1 p.m. and there are also daily specials; my favorite is the Foursome: a pitcher of beer and large nachos for $18.
This is definitely a daytime patio. The restaurant opens to suit golfers' hours -- at 5:30 a.m. -- and technically closes at dusk, although manager Cristina Hollobaugh says it depends on who's there. If the weather's nice and people are enjoying the patio, she keeps the place open. If it's deserted, she closes up shop. In the winter, hours shorten considerably.
The only negative? In my experience, the waitstaff needs a little oomph (except for Megan, who remembers your face after just one visit and won't leave you waiting). I'm not sure if it's because we were so obviously not making a tee time or if it's standard, but every time I've gone to Bogey's the service is slow enough to warrant checking in at the bar. But that never bothers me, because then I get to eavesdrop on the handful of regulars there.
Yes, the happy hour and brunch are draws, but the real reason to visit is for the escape and the guaranteed seating. The cool greens, the trees, the occasional ping of a driver hitting a ball, the shagging and the laidback service all make for a true escape -- from the hipsters, from gentrification, from pretense and "brunch" as a verb. Bogey's is just a great place to retreat from the city, sit, relax, drink and eat.
The Best Deal: The Foursome, a pitcher of any beer on tap and plate of nachos for $17.95.
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The Best Feature: Peace and quiet.