If the Bank Bar & Grill has been your neighborhood watering hole for the past several years, grab a beer and weep, because it's gone. In fact, save for the distressed red brick walls, which have anchored the two-tiered space for decades, little remains of the former sports bar that resides on the corner of East Colfax and York.
And in late July, when The Three Lions, a "world football club," opens, there will be no resemblance at all.
Jon Forget, the general manager of the British Bulldog, along with Mark Berzins, owner of the Little Pub Company, which encompasses nineteen joints in and around Denver, including the British Bulldog, have taken over the behemoth plot, which, says Forget, will reopen as a bar for soccer hounds. "We're doing quite a few renovations, and it will look nothing like the Bank when we open as the Three Lions," says Forget. Instead, he promises, "it will feel like you're in an authentic English pub in London with like-minded soccer fans."
The pub, he says, will be the "ultimate viewing experience for fans of the game," with several TVs strapped to the walls showing world soccer matches -- at noon, night and even in the wee hours of the morning, if that's when Spain and Brazil happen to be kicking each other's shins. "My philosophy is that I don't care how obscure the game is; if you contact me to say that you want to watch a game, and it's on at 4 .m., I'll come down and personally open the doors myself," insists Forget, adding that he's striving to achieve the same camaraderie that exists at the British Bulldog. "We're not competing with the Bulldog -- we're the sister to the Bulldog, but here, we can accommodate much larger crowds who enjoy a heavy concentration of European sports, especially soccer."
But the pub won't be entirely about fútbol. Both suds and food -- much of it English pub grub -- will also take center stage. The beer list will be mostly European, notes Forget, adding that the pub will feature a full line of Fuller's beers. He says, too, that he'll have a fourth tap pouring cask-conditioned ales from across the pond.
As for the menu, Forget tells me that it'll be a "combination of American pub fare, authentic British pub fare and signature, around-the-world curries." In addition, says Forget, the kitchen will do a special board to coincide with whatever teams are playing on the telly. "If the Spanish are playing the Dutch, then we'll offer a Spanish special and a Dutch special, which gives us a chance to play around a little bit and create whatever we want."
When The Three Lions opens, the hours, says Forget, will fluctuate depending upon when the games are being televised, but at the moment, he's shooting for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday; breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday; and extended hours if there's a late-night match on that requires the kitchen to satiate the hooligans.