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The Three Lions scores a goal on our roster

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Happy Place: The Three Lions, 2239 East Colfax Avenue, 303-997-6886.

The Hours: Daily from 3 to 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight.

The Deals: $2-$5 bottle and draft beer specials; $3 well drinks; $3 wines by the glass; $3-$4.50 small plates.

Were we happy? Flip the page to find out.

The Digs: The recent opening of the Little Pub Company's twentieth watering hole has given us more than one reason to celebrate. First, the Bank Bar & Grill, which held court in the space where the Three Lions now resides, sucked. It was a depressing establishment with a shady crowd that always gave us the feeling that, collectively, they were up to no good. And the space was begging for a makeover. In addition, Denver needs more soccer bars, and we're delighted with how the pub turned out: vaulted ceilings top exposed brick walls and the burgundy booths that line the perimeter of the bar are comfy and spacious; soccer memorabilia is everywhere, but not to the point of being kitschy; the beer list is decent; and the vibe is super-chill.

The Verdict: Reggae music danced from the speakers as we ducked into the Three Lions for a midday break. The bartender, a gentle man with kind eyes and an easy demeanor, greeted us promptly and politely. We ordered two pints of Boddingtons as the jukebox switched to Neil Young. Within five minutes of plopping our butts down, we were very happy.

The only bummer about the pub's happy hour is that the grub isn't exactly satiating. The lineup offers pub chips and half orders of chicken wings, which is a generous portion, but while pub chips and chicken wings pair perfectly with beer, they don't provide much of a base for dumping a bunch of brew into your belly. We'd love to see more happy hour menu options, as we found ourselves quickly ordering off of the regular menu. That aside, the Three Lions is a superb place to kill a few hours hanging with friends -- and an even better place to spend time if you're looking to catch a soccer game. And we love the efficiency and personality of the staff, which, in and of itself, merits a return visit.

Overall Grade: B

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