Rough week! Today I was civil. It was tough. I’m not an idiot — I’ll have you know that, even if others don’t believe it. It’s a good job. It’s quite possibly the best I’ve had, so I’m not going to get down about it.
I am officially weeks behind on my Denver Love Letters. It does not mean I haven’t been loving Denver, however. I certainly have, as much as (if not more than) ever. Tonight I salute Club 404.
Denver Love Letter #12!
The first time I went to Club 404 was circa 2004, with my then-boyfriend who heard it was “a union bar” and also “a real dive.” I don’t know if it’s really a “union bar” — I don’t even really know what that means. All I know is that it is, indeed, a bit of a dive with pleather-upholstered booths, a decent menu, great staff, and nothing fancy. You go to drink, and maybe you go to eat. And if you do go to eat, you go to eat comfort food, be it pot roast or nachos or hamburgers or prime rib or crispy rellenos. Traditional Denver fare. Just don’t order anything with mushroom gravy — consider this your sole warning.
For the last several months I’ve been going on most Friday nights for happy hour. It’s a predictable place. Not one where I’d want to order the wine (see my post on wine in dive bars), but of course the mixed drinks are fine (even strong), and the beer is predictable. Okay, well, there has been a mishap with mixed drinks. Not even mixed drinks, but once Barrett ordered an orange juice (that’s it!), and it came out tasting distinctly of Bloody Mary mix. She was not charged for it.
404. Sigh. 404. Why do I like it? It is not a scene. It’s not that it’s anti-scene — I’ve been there with a whole party of hipsters, and they were as welcoming as ever. It just is what it is. They might change their menu, but it’s probably with the waitress’s parents in mind, not my crowd. There is no fusion anything, no aioli, no tapas, no bruschetta, no arugula. No deep-fried mac-and-cheese. Nothing fancy, nothing trendy, and that’s why you should love it.
While you’re there, tell our waitress hi. I don’t know her name, but her mom hangs out there a lot, and I bet she could almost be my mom. It is like Cheers in Denver, only I’m not quite regular enough to feel like anything more than an extra. Which is fine with me — I go there to catch up with people I already know, not to make new friends, and I don’t sit at the bar, so I don’t make friends with the regulars. And if making new friends is what you’re into, allegedly there’s a swinger’s club next door.
P.S. It’s named “404” because that’s its address: 404 Broadway.