Let’s raise a glass to one of Denver’s favorite southern gals who is back in town with the show Dixie Longate – Cherry Bombs & Bottle Rockets, appearing July 8. If you, like Dixie, appreciate an un-fussy drink in a tell-it-like-it-is bar, where you can make new friends before your glass is empty, you’ll want to check out this Dixie-inspired list of area dive bars.
723 E. 6th Ave., Denver
Dixie could have a lot of fun with the names of some of the drink specials including $4 Pickle Shots and the $7 Fire Crotch. As a writer, she’d also appreciate that the owners are darned sure Jack Kerouac threw back a few there while writing On the Road. They have a special loyalty to the Kansas City Chiefs, devoting Sundays to the team with potlucks with the fans who’ve found their home there.
3200 E. 40th Ave.
If Dixie drove past this place and saw “Denver’s Friendliest Lounge” beneath the rose-colored Mr. A’s neon sign, she’d surely pull a U-ey to go check it out. Despite a dance floor and twinkle-lit patio on the side, the unassuming but fun vibe keep it in the dive bar category.
3416 E. Colfax Ave.
Dixie would find it charming that she’d be greeted with a rose and an Alabama Slammer shot that includes Southern Comfort and Sunny D. She wouldn’t be alone in that because every lady is given one before she can even place a drink order. It’s likely that owner Pete Siahamis would be sitting at one end of the cash-only bar (there’s an ATM next to the royal blue pool table). Regulars all know Pete and chat him up. It doesn’t take long until you’re deep in conversation with him too, especially when the subject is the “old days” in Denver. When asked about the Rat Pack-meets-Hollywood-Walk-of-Fame décor, Pete explains the theme is “Good looking people. And the minute you walk in here, you become good looking.” Thankfully, there’s a brilliant neon sign arrow outside to direct us.
R & R LOUNGE
4958 E. Colfax Ave.
Dixie would appreciate that the R & R has been a gay bar since the 1970’s and that it has the word “Bar” above the name of the place, all in neon, just to make sure you aren’t confused about where you’re going. Expect strong drinks there in this immaculately-clean spot with friendly service. And if you get hungry, either get a bagged snack from the vending machine or order a $10 grocery store pizza — they’ll bake up for you! Can’t finish it? They’ll wrap it in some foil to go because they’re nice like that. Of course, Dixie, America’s favorite Tupperware lady, would probably come equipped with her own container.
3759 Chestnut Place
Dixie would get a kick out of this place in RiNo that is an entertainment venue masquerading really well as a dive bar. Furnished with what appears to be dumpster-dived, eclectic furniture and with various drawings and graffiti covering every wall, Dixie might find herself asking “IS this really art, though?” She probably wouldn’t appreciate the expensive drinks but would absolutely love the laughs she got during open mic comedy night.