While we're living in these strange times, it's important to support our neighbors, including the owners and staff members of your local watering holes, many of which are still open, offering to-go and delivery options. And even those that are closed for now may be selling gift cards that you can use in the future.
This is the second in a series on how local bars are faring. Last week I checked in on a few of my regular spots in central Denver; this week, I'm checking in on standbys in northeast Denver and the nearby suburbs. They've been there for us in good times and bad, so we should be there for them now...
Esters at Oneida Park
What to order: A limited menu with the greatest hits still offers some pretty solid options. Esters Fat Tire nachos were our readers' choice pick for best nachos this year, and are indeed tasty and come in large portions. Otherwise, pizzas are an excellent bet, including build-your-own options. Esters loves kids, and kids eat free on weekdays; two kid-sized pizzas come free with the order of one adult entree. Take advantage of great booze deals to go along with your order, such as half-price wine Wednesdays and $15 make-your-own-mimosa kits for weekend brunch. Or there are always many craft beers on the list at Esters, with some favorites and unique choices for the beer connoisseur. All this is available if you call ahead for curbside pick-up or order delivery through Uber Eats.
Other ways to support: Gift cards are available on the website.
Why I'll be back: With a sunny covered patio, a spacious interior and a great happy hour with a variety of beer, wine, cocktail and food options, the Oneida Park location is a relaxed spot for after-work drinks or brunch. The whole family is welcome, so the dining room is often packed with parents and their kids.
Esters at Oneida Park, at 2201 Oneida Street, and Esters Neighborhood Pub, at 1950 South Holly Street, are currently open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Visit the bar's website, Instagram feed or Facebook page for more information.
The Glenn Bar and Grill
What to order: The full menu is available to go at this Northglenn institution, as well as cocktails and growlers of beer (BYO growler). Regulars love the fried pickles, queso dip, Reuben sandwiches and burgers — especially the spicy JCB, with a whole roasted jalapeño atop a beef patty smothered in cream cheese and bacon. There's also a kids' menu, so if you need that grilled cheese for the children in your house, not to worry. Just call ahead for pick-up and the team at the Glenn will hook you up with your favorites.
Why I'll be back: The food and drinks are solid at the Glenn, and the ambience is pleasing, with clean booths and a shiny bar — but the crowd is what really makes this place fun. With a mix of weird characters, old ladies, families and suburban dads, everyone here will make you feel welcome when we're all together again.
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The Glenn is located at 11140 Irma Drive in Northglenn, and is open daily from 4 to 8 p.m. Call 303-255-1400 or visit the bar's website or Facebook page for more information.
Jay's Grille and Bar
What to order: Jay's is one of the few neighborhood bars around delivering breakfast, so starting at 8 a.m., you can order your Denver omelet or breakfast burrito to eat at home. Call the bar directly for curbside pick-up, or stay in your PJs and order through Uber Eats or DoorDash. For the remainder of the day, I recommend Jay's various bar snacks, which can now be your home snacks — like the Skyline Sampler, a combination of delicious fried appetizers and hot wings. You also can't go wrong with just the wings themselves, with tons of sauces to choose from and 80-cent wing Wednesday still available to go. Or if you're looking for more of an actual meal, choose from several Mexican dishes, burgers and even salads (if you want something healthy after all the fried apps). On Wing Wednesday, you can also get $1 Coors, Coors Light or Shock Top cans, or a $2 margarita to sip on your own patio.
Why I'll be back: Jay's makes its home in the little-known enclave of Welby, which is actually quite close to downtown and RiNo, with friendly folks and a plethora of food and drink options. With a diner vibe in the front where kids are welcome and a true bar area in the back, there's something for everyone here. It has a lovely patio with a beautiful view of the Denver skyline and mountains, perfect for the patio weather that is sure to be in progress by the time we all get to hit the bar scene again.
Jay's Grille and Bar is located at 7820 Washington Street and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. Call 303-288-5297 or visit the bar's Facebook page for more information.
Note: Rules regarding to-go beer and liquor sales continue to shift, as do hours at the bars that are trying to stay open. So check for the latest info before heading out.