Best of Boulder 2013: Nightlife, Dancing, Pool and Sports Bar

The Sundown Saloon
Photo by Susan France

Place to Dance

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

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

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.

Sports Bar

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.

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

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


Boulder Airport, 3393 Airport Road,

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.

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.