Denver's football stadium doesn't just have a new name and signage. Sometime soon after next week's regular season home opener, it will also have its own Tavern: The Tavern Hospitality Group is in the process of creating Tavern Mile High at Sports Authority Field.
"We met with the Broncos earlier this year to discuss forming a partnership," explains THG owner Frank Schultz. "After brainstorming, we decided it would be beneficial for both of us to put a Tavern in the stadium. It's a wonderful marketing opportunity for us to brand the Tavern. On their end, the Broncos are excited about it because they're trying to bring more of a local Colorado feel to the stadium. We're a local family-owned and -operated company, so it was a great fit for both of us."
The new restaurant will be on the lower concourse by the VIP parking entrance near gate 4, where a concession stand once stood. But this is no concession stand: THG is custom-building Tavern Mile High, and it will have many of the amenities of the other bars in the group, including high-definition TVs and a central bar accessible from three sides.
The biggest difference: Tavern Mile High will not serve food, only beverages.
And that's not THG's only football-related activity: It's sponsoring the Broncos First Possession Payoff, an ongoing contest that will run through the regular Broncos season.
One name will be drawn each week; that winner will receive two tickets to the next home game and get to be on the sidelines during the Broncos warmup and through the Broncos first offensive possession -- and then collect $1,000 for every point scored by the team during that first possession.
To enter, visit any Tavern that's part of THG. When you get your check, you'll get a code card. Enter that unique code on the Tavern's website at www.tavernhg.com; one code will be picked as the winner and announced by Les Shapiro on 102.3 ESPN's Les and JoJo show between noon and 3 p.m. on the Tuesday before each home game. (The winner will also be contacted by phone and e-mail.)
The Tavern Hospitality Group got its start in 1996 with the Soiled Dove. Today the group consists of Tavern Uptown, Tavern Downtown, Tavern Littleton, Tavern Tech Center, Tavern Wash Park, Tavern Lowry, Cowboy Lounge, Soiled Dove Underground and the soon-to-be Tavern Mile High.
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Schultz is also aiming to open Tavern Platt Park in the former home of India's Pearl next spring, and the Tavern LoHi the following year. But in the meantime, THG's offices will be moving up to the vintage warehouse building at 15th and Boulder streets that the company bought earlier this year sometime this fall.