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The Lancer Lounge gets up to code -- and even gets a new window

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One of Denver's last classic dive bars is in the process of a remodel. What started as a project to bring the Lancer Lounge, and particularly its bathrooms, up to code turned into a much bigger beautification project, says owner Rebecca Conda.

The most dramatic development? Last week the sliver of a window was replaced with a big picture window that extends to the ground. And the renovated bathrooms are now sparkling -- but considering how stiff the drinks are, that may not last for long. Already, in true dive-bar fashion, the men's bathroom is showing a few graffiti marks.

Other changes include new carpeting, tables and even a mural. Bartender Peni Bard says she thinks whoever painted the original mural was drunk; Conda says it's still slated to get a touch-up from what you see in these pictures.

Even though the Lancer, which Conda bought a dozen years ago at 233 East Seventh Avenue, is now surrounded by such Frank Bonanno hot spots as Mizuna, Luca D'Italia and Bones, the dive plans on staying true to its vibe and history. Conda recently negotiated a longer lease, and the place isn't going anywhere anytime soon. "Not for a minute," Conda says.

Nor will it be closing its doors or even limiting hours during the renovation process. The contractors have been working in the morning so that the Lancer Lounge can still open for lunch at 11 a.m. -- yes, the kitchen has been cleaned and is now up and running.

A grand-opening event is planned for next week, though an exact date has not yet been set. Conda will announce the details on Lancer Lounge's Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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