Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A bar with no name

Sam: What'll you have Normie?
Norm: Well, I'm in a gambling mood, Sammy. I'll take a glass of whatever comes out of that tap.
Sam: Looks like beer, Norm.
Norm: Call me Mister Lucky.

My friend told me that the bar was referred to a “Narnia.”

Kyle and I spent the drive questioning this. How on earth could a bar in Boulder be like Narnia?

When we arrived, the answer became obvious; we didn’t even need to discuss it. Walk in a random door between two restaurants on the Hill and you’ve completely escaped Boulder.

Even knowing about the bar and being relatively certain of its location, I wasn’t positive I was there. I called my friend to verify that I was in the right location. The sign on the door just says “Open Daily 4 p.m. – 1 a.m.” and has a small window with iron bars, as some sort of tribute to the days of speakeasies.

The place is beautiful – light wood paneling throughout the place, lovely sand-blasted glass lamps with dark steel fixtures – classy but homey in a style I have never before encountered in Boulder. The clientele was what I expected from Boulder when I was young and before I understood the term “college town” – old hippie types who seem more Coloradan than crazy acid heads. The younger crowd seemed like the kind of people I would have befriended, had I attended CU. They were certainly Colorado college students, but without the trustafarian or frat boy element.

The service was great, our waitress checked on our table at all the right times and even explained the neon sign in the window after overhearing us trying to guess what it was (I won’t tell, that’ll ruin the fun, but I will say Kyle was wrong).

The beer selection is a step above average: you have your regular taps – Guinness, Sierra Nevada, Harp, Bass, and two O’dells; then a few more interesting ones – seasonal Breckenridge IPA and Ska’s Modus Hoperandi. The bottled beer selection was more diverse with some typical brews and weaker beers, then Monty Python’s Holy Grale, Breckenridge’s 471, bombers of Avery’s Reverend and more. The rest of the menu was liquors and spirits, suggesting that their cocktails were good. After all, aren’t the best cocktails served at bars where there’s no menu listing what they can make?

I almost feel guilty talking about the bar – part of me fears that any publicity will lead to Narnia becoming just another quirky Boulder bar. But we drove 32 miles for the specific intention of visiting this place, so I’m writing about it, dammit. Expect to hear more about this bar, word will spread quickly – one of my friends decided it’s going to be his local from here on out. But for now, I’m leaving you pictures.


  1. Anonymous midwestern girl here.

    Beergirl, I have a bone to pick. In your last blog re: Narnia you wrote.

    "The beer selection is a step above average: you have your regular taps – Guinness, Sierra Nevada, Harp, Bass, and two O’dells; then a few more interesting ones – seasonal Breckenridge IPA and Ska’s Modus Hoperandi."

    I have to tell you beer girl, this chafes my midwestern hide. You are spoiled spoiled spoiled! You describe that selection of taps in positive but modest terms. A step above average?

    Here in the midwest (and I am told the east coast - including NYC) a selection of taps like that would be excellent - try ten steps above normal. The bar you are describing would be labeled "American Craft Beer Boutique" and it would be PACKED from lunch on!

    You are spoiled beergirl. That's all. My bone has been picked.

    Time for me to return to my girlish agrarian concerns.

  2. Yes, well, anonymous midwestern girl, turns out we have better beer out here. Maybe you should come visit and you could experience it.

  3. Look, I don't want to fight. I am loyal to the sisterhood.

  4. Beer girl,
    I notice that you have basicaly given up on this blog. I guess you don't like beer anymore...
    Maybe that's normal in the rockies. Here in the midwest we have 'stick-to-it-tiveness.' It's pretty famous actually.

    Anonymouse Midwestern Girl

  5. Anonymouse Midwestern Girl,

    Yes, I have been negligent. However, I do have big plans. Big plans. Just you wait and see.

  6. Try the Taphouse Grill in Seattle if you ever get the chance... 160 beers on tap.