The Cherry Cricket
2641 East 2nd Ave.
Denver, CO 80206
Hours: Daily 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Happy Hour: 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Now known as one of the best places around Cherry Creek to grab a bite and catch the game, the Cherry Cricket is a bar with some serious history. Starting out as Mary Zimmerman’s Bar way back in 1945, this bar has, in one form or another, been a Denver staple for over 60 years. Now, with award winning burgers and a tasty “Horzidurvees” (Cherry Cricket-speak for “hors d’oeuvres”), the menu alone is a super incentive to watch some NBA finals here, but the restaurant bar’s 13 HD TVs sweeten the deal. The location, right in the heart of Cherry Creek and surrounded by upscale shopping, art galleries, boutiques and classy restaurants, isn’t too shabby, either. But not to fear–you won’t feel out of place in a t-shirt and jeans. As Cherry Cricket’s motto goes, if Cherry Creek is the diamond, this bar is its flaw.
The College Inn
4400 east 8th Ave
Denver, CO 80220
Hours: Daily 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
One of a couple of bars owned by the Little Pub Company, the College Inn still feels like a local, neighborhood haunt, which is exactly what its owners wanted. There are excellent specials available every night, including Ladies 80s night every Friday where you can get $2 and $3 beer specials while listening to a live DJ spinning great 80s hits. A recent addition to the bar’s large outdoor patio includes a fire pit, which is perfect for Denver’s sometimes unexpectedly chilly spring and early summer nights. There are plenty of TVs stashed both above the bar, which is centered in the middle of the area, and mounted on the walls for those who choose to sit in booths, making this a great place to catch a finals game. During halftime, pick up a game of pool or play on the bar’s retro “Big Buck Hunter” arcade game.
2644 West Colfax Ave.
Hours: Mon to Sat – 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Sun – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Given that Brooklyn’s is located just steps from the Nuggets’ home, the Pepsi Center, watching the NBA finals here has that extra special feel. This is the spot to hit for pre-game beers or post-game victory shots. The menu is fairly straightforward, but the food is above average, so be sure to try the scrumptious burgers. Having that feel of a local’s only establishment, once you’re seated and have a brew, Brooklyn’s makes you feel like one of the gang. If you’re looking to catch the game with 20 of your closest basketball-loving friends, Brooklyn’s is perfect for accommodating large crowds and can hold up to 500 fans.
Lodo’s Bar and Grill
1946 Market St.
Denver, CO, 80202
Hours: Mon to Sun – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
For a mix of sports bar and nightclub, Lodo’s Bar and Grill is an excellent choice. There are a few locations, but the Lodo’s Bar and Grill located on Market Street is the best for watching the NBA Finals with like-minded basketball lovers. That’s not to say the Westminster and Highlands Ranch locations won’t be equally as fun for those looking to catch the games outside of the downtown area. Happy hour runs twice on weekdays from 3 p.m to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to closing. Happy hour specials include a $3.99 (and up) food menu, $4 well drinks and specialty drinks for $6. If you’re at the Market Street location, be sure to check out the party atmosphere on the rooftop patio–it houses its own bar and plenty of TVs as well.
Blake Street Tavern
2301 Blake St.
Denver, CO 80205
Hours: Daily – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Located one block from Coors Field, Blake Street Tavern is one of the most enjoyable, real sport bars in Downtown Denver. There’s a down to earth sporting atmosphere here, and its accompanied by excellent food. You can watch the NBA Finals from your seat secure in the knowledge that, if any other game is playing at the same time on one of the bar’s numerous flat-screen TVs, you’ll be able to hear your game thanks to the “Sound Dog” tabletop speakers. Happy hour holds $2 – $4 drink specials and $5 (big) appetizer specials. Great food, great people, great prices and great game viewing–what more could you want alongside the game?
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