Food News

Tight End Is the Safe-Space Sports Bar We've All Been Waiting For

Tight End, Denver's only gay sports bar, opened April 12.
Tight End, Denver's only gay sports bar, opened April 12. Gabrielle Bye
When Steven Alix opened Tight End in the former location of Streets Denver at 1501 East Colfax Avenue in April 2021, it became Denver's only gay sports bar. Now, a few months into business, it’s carving out its place on Colfax as a regular sports bar with good pours, plenty of wide-screen televisions, and a relaxed, down-to-earth atmosphere.

"I love sports, I know a lot of people love sports, and it's the same amount in the gay community as the straight community; the only issue is, a lot of people who play sports or watch sports didn't have a place where they felt safe," Alix says. "Almost the opposite, right? Like especially growing up in it, a lot of coaches gave people a lot of crap. So I wanted it to be a safe place for anyone who just wants to enjoy the game."

This carefully curated concept isn't new to Alix, who also owns X Bar and co-owns The Squire Lounge,
β€” in fact, it's been in the works for five years. When Streets closed in March 2021 after twenty years in business, Alix "finally just kind of found the right match that I envisioned [for the concept] and jumped on it," he says.

Tight End is fairly small, but it feels airy and open, with a cozy front patio adorned with string lights. A DJ in the corner pumps loud dance music in the late evening after the major games end, and the space is filled with the sounds of laughter and glasses clinking. On the televisions, episodes of Family Feud and Shark Tank play alongside basketball and hockey games. There's karaoke on Wednesdays and two-dollars-off drinks every day from 3 to 8 p.m. Alix says the clientele has been diverse. "It's all over the place," he notes. "It's absolutely wonderful. It's gay, straight, women, men β€” you name it."
click to enlarge Tight End welcomes customers with a warm and accepting atmosphere. - GABRIELLE BYE
Tight End welcomes customers with a warm and accepting atmosphere.
Gabrielle Bye

To help expand the business, the bar partners with local gay sports leagues for events. "They've been great to work with," Alix says, "it's been incredible. And we're working to get with more and more of them. And it's so great β€” every sort of sport has a gay league in Denver." The bar also recently acquired 3 Guys Pies, located next door to Tight End. "The pizza place will stay open after close so that there'll be an after-bar place. And it's going be called End Zone Pizzeria," Alix says.


More late-night pizza on Colfax? We'll toast to that!

Tight End is located at 1501 East Colfax Avenue and is open from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 2 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Get more information at 303-861-9103 or tightendbar.com.
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Gabrielle Bye is an editorial fellow at Westword, reporting local news; she previously covered Colorado politics for almost two years. In her spare time, she loves to enjoy nature and eat locally.
Contact: Gabrielle Bye