Big night out in a small mountain town |

Big night out in a small mountain town

Lindsey Krusen
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado

With a wide variety of bar locations and experiences, Summit County offers partiers a night out on the towns. From cowboy joint to pick-up central, the High Country has your nightlife needs covered. Here are just a few to give you an idea of what’s out there:

Burke and Riley’s 510 S. Main St.

Pros: Irish-pub appeal with a mean Guinness draft.

Cons: Tends to get overcrowded on busy nights.

Typical scenario: Scantily clad waitresses serve up traditional Irish fare. The crowd swells for sports, but think sardine can after 10 p.m. on weekends. Groups of old friends slide up next to newcomers in the substantial wooden booths.

Cecilia’s 520 S. Main St.

Pros: Scotch and cigar selection.

Cons: This joint got fancier recently, and those looking for the wild nights of old may be disappointed.

Typical scenario: Monday night power hour gives locals deals from 11 p.m. to midnight. Other nights, the vibe ranges from highbrow scotch tastings to a get-down crowd on the weekends, when a DJ shows up and rocks the dance floor.

Downstairs at Eric’s 111 S. Main St.

Pros: Inexpensive food, fun atmosphere and entertaining decor.

Cons: The bigger bar, across the hall in another room, isn’t always open, so sometimes you’re elbow to elbow with sports fans in the main restaurant.

Typical scenario: Sports fans watching big screen televised events ” several at a time. A lively crowd and the owner’s bold attitude make this place a great hangout,The waitstaff believe what their shirts say: “Because everywhere else sucks.” It’s worth a visit just to look at all of the signs of companies throughout Summit County that have gone out of business and now hang on Eric’s walls.

Fatty’s 106 S. Ridge St.

Pros: The friendly atmosphere.

Cons: Located a street back from Main.

Typical scenario: If you want to know how long Fatty’s has been around, check out the decorations on the walls. There are softball trophies from decades past, and the people in the pictures may be sitting right next to you, along with a good amount of tourists. Come for the pizza, and stay for a few beers. It’s also a great spot to catch a game.

Gold Pan 103 N. Main St.

Pros: The rowdy, old-West feel.

Cons: The crowd likes to get down, so take it or leave it.

Typical scenario: This place has an impressive claim to fame ” it holds the oldest liquor license west of the Mississippi. A young ski crowd and naive tourists mix with bikers and seasoned locals at the Breck establishment. Rounds of shots keep coming as patrons dance to jam bands and DJs that often pass through.

The Historic Brown Hotel Restaurant 208 N. Ridge St.

Pros: Built in the 1860s, the most historic and spooky watering hole in the county.

Cons: Labyrinth-like layout doesn’t accommodate groups well.

Typical scenario: Watch out for the ghost said to haunt the building. Velvet-wallpapered rooms and a well-stocked jukebox provide the backdrop for tete-a-tetes and endless rounds of bar games, including backgammon and chess. This haunt heats up with a lively weekend crowd.

Jake’s Dive Bar 100 N. Main St.

Pros: The friendly local crowd and number of television channels.

Cons: Don’t flash anyone, or your picture will be on the wall.

Typical scenario: Laaaiiiid back. There’s good conversation to be had at the bar, and the scuba decor is a welcome change from the usual sports-bar scene. A variety of bands have been known to stop in, mostly on the harder side of rock.

Liquid Lounge 520 S. Main St.

Pros: The party atmosphere.

Cons: It’s a bit hard to find.

Typical scenario: Think themes: There’s miniskirt night, where ladies in short skirts get free drinks. Keep an eye out for attractive, fun-loving crowds.

Motherloaded Tavern 103 S. Main St.

Pros: Atmosphere.

Cons: Fried Twinkies.

Typical scenario: As the new guy in town, the Motherloaded has a lot to prove, but it’s moving up the ranks with its down-home cooking and friendly bartenders and waitstaff. You’ll find tourists and locals, young and old inside. Check out Friday, where bringing a creative food item to fry may earn you a prize for being most imaginative.

Rita’s Margaritas 301 S. Main St.

Pros: Like its namesake, the margaritas.

Cons: No windows.

Typical scenario: Everyone’s drinking the margaritas, and surprisingly, the El Cheapo’s not all that bad. There are a lot of skiers and snowboarders getting their apres on here. The music ranges from dubbed Dead to top-40 hits.

Copper Mountain’s bars Copper Mountain Resort

Pros: A village full of nightlife to explore.

Cons: Hard to stumble back to other towns.

Typical scenario: Varies depending where you go. Endo’s is the most popular, with an extreme-sport approach and a mixed bag of folks, depending on the night. Copper employees can flood the place, but so can tourists and Frisco residents. This place stays packed throughout the day ” lunch, apres, dinner and late night. Pravda, a vodka bar, may or may not live up to its Russian translation (truth). This depends on how many vodka samples you’ve had and how kosher the crowd du jour is. Things get a little loco here, and the best time to come is after midnight. Check out the dancing and DJ parties.

Chill/Po’ Boys 610 Main St.

Pros: The wide-open floor plan.

Cons: Some won’t like the dance-party vibe.

Typical scenario: Chill, the bar, and Po’Boys, the restaurant, have a good thing going with spectacular cajun food and an appropriately named chill place to hang out. Grab a pool stick or hop on the dance floor if a DJ is spinning. Friscoites and ski employees pack chill on weekend nights.

Moose Jaw 208 Main St.

Pros: Cheap beer and laid-back atmosphere.

Cons: Love it or hate it; this joint’s a dive bar.

Typical scenario: Want to know what Frisco was like before Colorado was cool? Step inside the Moose Jaw and pay attention to the junk. A collection of regulars warm the bar stools, and the pool tables see frequent action. A sizeable afternoon crowd gathers for the award-winning burgers, then the Jaw fills up around 11 p.m. A smattering of semi- to very-talented musicians play at Thursday’s open mic night.

Upstairs at Jonny G’s 409 E. Main St.

Pros: Like the motto says, it’s “a sunny place for shady people.”

Cons: If you don’t want to be checked out, don’t walk through the doors.

Typical scenario: What Jonny G’s lacks in decoration it makes up for in personalities, pool sharks and dart players. Good hip-hop and jam bands, and DJs come through on a fairly regular basis.

The Goat 22954 U.S. Highway 6

Pros: The acclaimed soup and whiskey.

Cons: Don’t be fooled by the lunch crowd ” things heat up at night.

Typical scenario: Summit County’s equivalent to New York’s melting pot, The Goat attracts all types. Catch a band when the “live music” sign is on ” anything from homegrown funk to jam-based rock.

Parrot Eyes River Run

Pros: If you’re going to waste away, do it in this Margaritaville.

Cons: If you’re not a Jimmy Buffet fan, you should go elsewhere.

Typical scenario: Everyone’s sipping margaritas, and the vibe is so hot, you’d swear the humidity was 100 percent. Step into Parrot Eyes (a play on “paradise”), and enjoy all the tropics our mountains have to offer. It serves up a tequila-good time after the slopes close.

Snake River Saloon 23074 U.S. Highway 6

Pros: The live music.

Cons: Small stage.

Typical scenario: The small dance floor accompanies the small stage, but the place rocks when favorite local jam bands show up. There’s a good mix of locals, newcomers and tourists feeling the bite of the snake’s renowned entrees, bar food and general scene.

Old Dillon Inn 321 Blue River Parkway

Pros: Western-bar feel.

Cons: Western-bar feel.

Typical scenario: Look for the giant neon “bar” sign with the “r” missing. The live music in the dark-wood interior steals the show with a dance floor and stage set up for interaction. Real cowboys (with cowboy hats AND boots) bump elbows with the local ski crowd in the dimly lit bar area.

Murphy’s Food and Spirits 501 Blue River Parkway

Pros: The Irish fare.

Cons: If you don’t like Irish pubs, you might not be feelin’ the luck o’ the Irish.

Typical scenario: Feel free to bring the kids here; this place touts its atmosphere as a family- friendly atmosphere. That doesn’t mean the late nights don’t have their share of libations and good Irish humor. Come for the corned beef and cabbage and stay for the pints.

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