Place to Dance
ST JULIEN HOTEL & SPA
900 Walnut St., 720-406-9696
Second Place: Avalon Ballroom
Third Place: Boulder Theater
Fourth Place: Absinthe House
Fifth Place: Fox Theatre
Before making your stop at the St Julien Hotel & Spa for a night of dancing, you may want to detour by our runner-up, the Avalon Ballroom, for a few classes that cover little things like how to dance. By the time your dancing shoes step out on a floor as big and grand as the one at the St Julien, you’ll want to know what you’re doing. Or at least have a pretty good sense for telling your tango from your foxtrot.
Place to Play Pool
1136 Pearl St., 303-449-4987
Second Place: Catacombs Bar
Third Place: World Famous Dark Horse Bar and Grill
Fourth Place: Lazy Dog Sports Bar & Grill
Fifth Place: The Attic Bar & Bistro
Rack ’em up! The Sundown Saloon, aka “The Downer,” takes this category for the third year in a row. The place only has five pool tables, but what it lacks in numbers it makes up for in ambience. Dark wooden benches provide ample seating for your friends as you show off your skills, and $6 pitchers of Pabst Blue Ribbon help ease the pain of losing to one of The Downer’s sharp-toothed pool sharks. There are even tournaments for the serious players. And if you can’t get on a table, as is bound to happen on a weekend night at one of Boulder’s busiest bars, there are darts, shuffleboard, foosball and the occasional live show.
Place to Wi-Fi
OZO COFFEE CO.
1015 Pearl St., 303-645-4885
5340 Arapahoe Ave., 303-440-0233
Second Place: The Laughing Goat
Third Place: The Cup
Fourth Place: Panera Bread
Fifth Place: Vic’s
These days, a good Wi-Fi connection is just as important to the coffee shop as the beans. People tend to make coffee shops their mobile office or library, so for freelancers, students and the unemployed, a fast, dependable Wi-Fi connection is key. Ozo Coffee Co. wins this category in its first year, probably as much for its excellent coffee roasts and welcoming ambience as for Internet speed. So head to Ozo next time you need a new place to procrastinate and pretend to do work. And grab a mocha while you’re there. Trust us.
THE LAZY DOG SPORTS BAR & GRILL
1346 Pearl St., 303- 440-3355
Second Place: World Famous Dark Horse Bar and Grill
Third Place: Harpo’s Sports Grill
Fourth Place: West End Tavern
Fifth Place: Walnut Brewery
We’ve learned the hard way that it is usually not OK to yell in a bar. It is also usually not OK to yell at inanimate objects.
But sports make both of those things very OK. Yelling during sports is always encouraged, even though TVs with little microphones that broadcast directly to a game’s referees and coaches still haven’t been developed.
And yelling is best when you’re not doing it alone. That’s why The Lazy Dog, this year’s best sports bar, is a great place to yell. There’s likely to be a lively crowd for every game taking place, no matter how farflung the teams. And besides the yelling, Lazy Dog has great TVs — and, just as important, good angles to see the action — and a variety of food options like Atlantic salmon, barbecue, burgers and fish tacos.
STAFF PICK: Place to Party Old-School Style
1940S WWII ERA BALL
Boulder Airport, 3393 Airport Road, www.1940sball.org
The clever man’s response to an invitation to the 1940s Ball is, “Didn’t we miss that by about 70 years?” We don’t have an equally clever rebuttal to that, but the gist of the answer is decidedly “no.” For five years, the 1940s WWII Era Ball has been enchanting Boulder locals with an evening filled with big band music and swing dancing, 1940s-era impersonators and WWII planes. For one night in June, you can hop in your own personal time machine (well, along with about 2,000 other people who gather around a hangar at the Boulder Airport) and crank the clock back to simpler times — but ones that involved far more complicated clothing.
Lindy hoppers and Bing Crosby lovers can round out the year by catching the White Christmas Ball, a ’40s/’50s-themed holiday party in December, and Voodoo Island, a 1950s tiki exotica ball on Labor Day weekend that brings surf music, bamboo huts and hula dancers to the Millennium Harvest House.