It's the brew-soaked dream of any drinking-age guy -- or gal -- to own a great bar. And to own close to twenty of them? That's a drinking dream come true. Since he foundedThe Little Pub Company in 1994, Mark Berzins has collected nineteen Denver area bars, including The British Bulldog, which I review this week. And like the Bulldog, which occupies the former home of the Punch Bowl, many of Berzins' establishments have been local watering holes for longer than Little Pub has been around.
Today Little Pub Co. owns and operates an eclectic mix of nineteen different bars in very different neighborhoods. Some of these bars were longtime landmarks when Little Pub acquired them, others were created out of thin air. But all of them continue to do business with their nearby neighborhoods in mind.
Here's a quick rundown of the different Little Pub pubs.
1. Icehouse Tavern Located two blocks south of Coors Field in an actual, and historic, Icehouse, at 1801 Wynkoop Street, this is a sporty-sport-sports bar with an outdoor patio, over a dozen flatscreens, and $2 Coors Lights on game days.
2. Patrick Carroll's Irish Pub This pub at 3963 Tennyson Street, smack in the Berkley neighborhood, features pool tables, darts and the Scottie Burger -- a beef patty smashed up with A-1 sauce, bacon and cheese.
3. College Inn This spot at 4400 East Eighth Avenue is a relatively recent acquisition, but it's an old bar with a full menu of American and Mexican favorites, "Fish Fry Fridays," and late-night happy-hour drink specials from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
4. Gibby's Sports Saloon Located at 1555 South Havana Street in Aurora, Gibby's is a rustic-ish sports bar with a full menu of American and Mexican favorites, including the "Sloppy Burrito" -- exactly what it sounds like -- and karaoke on Thursday nights.
5. Salty Rita's Little Pub created this bar at 200 Quebec Street to serve the thirsty Lowry community. It's a margarita-slinging spot with a menu of Mexican favorites, lunch specials during the week, and a large, twenty-table patio.
6. The Irish Hound A downhome pub at the edge of Cherry Creek at 575 St. Paul Street, the Hound features homemade chips, "Pork Thursdays" -- you wish, but that refers to meat to eat -- and $3 microbrew drafts on Mondays.
7. The Elm This hipster oasis at 5001 East Colfax Avenue has retro décor, outdoor pool tables, a digital jukebox and "Chicken Tuesdays" -- still food, guys.
8. The Old Man This roadhouse-like bar at 4381 West 120th Avenue in Broomfield features $2 can specials and "$20 Wing-Feast Wednesdays."
9 &10. Spot Bar & Grill The Spot has two spots -- the original at 98 South Pennsylvania Street and a second at 111 North Rubey Drive in Golden. Both boast full menus of burgers, sammies, salads and a smattering of Mexican food, and both have afternoon and late-night happy-hour specials.
11. Doghouse Tavern This bar at 3100 South Sheridan features American and Mexican favorites -- including some particularly good fried chicken -- and $2 PBR drafts every day.
12. Don's Club Tavern When the venerable Don's at 723 East Sixth Avenue became available a few years back, Little Pub picked it up, keeping the classic dive bar ambience, but adding better bathrooms and a digital jukebox.
13. Wyman's No. 5 Located at 2033 East 13th Avenue, Wyman's is a pub and pizza place, with Chicago-style deep dish pies.
14. Pifler's Sports Tavern This sports bar at 11353 West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood sports Direct TV, $5.50 Jagerbombs and a full menu of burgers, sandwiches and Mexican favorites.
15. Dirk's Sports Tavern Dirk's is a classic sports bar at 7500 South University Boulevard in Centennial, with a kitchen that cooks up a decent blackened mahi sandwich, and entertainment that includes cornhole tournaments -- sorry, pervs, it's not a naked game -- on Thursday nights.
16. Three Dogs Tavern Three Dogs, at 3390 West 32nd Street, is a vintage pub with the original hardwood floors, weekday and weekend happy-hour specials, and a food lineup that includes locally-made elk sausage and a killer fried Oreo sundae.
17. The Pioneer The Pioneer is located at 2401 South University Boulevard, so it's not surprising that it appeals to the college crowd with tacos, margaritas, Sunday brunch -- with $4 cucumber Bloody Marys -- and free WIFI.
18. The Cooler This bar at 2045 Sheridan Boulevard, Edgewater, with a patio overlooking Sloan's Lake, is a personal favorite. The bar features an enormous selection of canned beers, $4 Fireball shots on Mondays, and a full menu with a seriously good tempura-fried avocado appetizer and fried cheese curds.
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19. The British Bulldog The historic Punch Bowl at 2052 Stout Street had already gone through several other identities and turned into the British Bulldog when it was picked up by Little Pub four years ago. Today it continues to feature British and Pakistani fare, and opens at 7 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays for Euro football games.