When Irish guys aren't smiling, they could be looking for an Irish bar in Denver

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

There are things I like about the Celtic Tavern. I like the fact that it sits at 18th and Blake, one of my favorite parts of downtown. I've rarely spent a night in this neighborhood that hasn't culminated with my being offered drugs (everything from weed to opium), by friendly drug dealers as I walk to the parking garage where I always stash my car. I like the girl who works nights there.

I like the Celtic because a man of other filthy habits can still have a cigarette with his glass of Jameson whiskey at the bar, because the Celtic somehow managed to get itself classified as a cigar bar under Colorado's anti-smoking ordinance. The odor of spilled beer and lingering smoke, the white fog twisting up around the dim bar lights, makes the Celtic feel more like a bar to me than almost any other bar in town. People complain about the smoke here -- fuck 'em. They already have every other dining room and stretch of long oak in the city (and can even go to the Celtic's non-smoking section if they so choose). This place is mine.

But while the Celtic feels like a bar to me, it doesn't feel like an authentic Irish bar. There just aren't any in Denver, as I discuss in both my review of the Celtic and in Bite Me, where I offer a step-by-step guide for opening a proper Irish-American pub in this city that seems, for reasons that are completely beyond me, incapable of managing that simple trick.

And in Second Helping, I move from the Celtic to Delaney's next door, and discuss how I managed to end up there on a forlorn Sunday night wondering just what in the hell it was that smelled so bad.

Come back tomorrow to find out for yourself. And until then, cheers and bottoms-up. -- Jason Sheehan

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.