Denver has had 50 years to perfect the art of a St. Patrick’s Day celebration. So, break out the green beads and shamrocks and share in the city’s festivities at Denver’s top authentic Irish pubs.
Scruffy Murphy’s Irish Pub
2030 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80205
Hours: Tue to Fri – 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Sat to Sun – 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.
This bar offers 20 different beers on tap and 50 different whiskeys, but on a nice Spring day, you’ll really want to come here for its beer garden. Yes, Scruffy Murphy’s features a large outdoor area with a bar for all of the lads and lasses to enjoy the sunshine and joviality. The menu features a wide variety of smoked meats and many American foods with an Irish twist, such as the Irish nachos and the monsta pretzels. While most of the bar is American-made, the owner, John Elliot, spent a long time in Ireland researching what makes for the proper Irish pub. Scruffy Murphy’s packs in a crowd on St. Patrick’s day, so don’t be shy and get ready to drink a pint among plenty of new friends.
Nallen’s Irish Pub
1429 Market St.
Denver, CO 80202
Hours: Daily – 2 p.m. – 2 a.m.
When you want to be sure of a great time, simply head to the Irish bar that’s been around the longest. Nallen’s opened in 1992, long before the Irish pub craze hit Denver, and it owes much of its success to the friendly bartenders who pour a perfect Guinness. The customers at Nallen’s rave about the wonderful character and spirit found in the regulars. It’s encouraging to see a bar succeed for so long without the frills and gimmicks because that means the bar is doing what it’s supposed to: serve drinks correctly, bring you some laughs, and keep you coming back. It also doesn’t hurt that the bar features a rarity in serving Strongbow and Stella Artois on tap.
The Abbey Tavern
5151 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80220
Of the all bars on Colfax, the Abbey has grown to a staple neighborhood watering hole. It can be busy, but the feeling is always one of intimacy, with a friendly and welcoming staff and a series of regulars. Community and comfort are the draws of an Irish pub, and the Abbey features both in spades, including daily specials and popular community events like trivia and soccer game showings. That is thanks to owner Glen Eastwood, who started the Abbey after managing both Fado and Casey’s pubs. As a real Irishman, Eastwood knows what it is that separates real Irish bars from the fluorescent green artificial culture that defines so many “Irish” bars. For St. Patty’s Day, you can count on finding dozens of friends you never knew you had, and they should be there all year long.
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