While free UFC fights are a draw for some, those with strictly culinary bloodlust will want the duck wings with jerk seasoning, "spicy balls" (yes, testicles), gator nuggets, the Fully Loaded wood-oven pizza, or excellent brats courtesy of Denver's Continental Sausage.
Best of 2012: Neighborhood Bar: North
Back in July, we called Back East one of the best bars in the city, writing, "For a spot sporting a clean sheen commensurate with its Briargate-shopping-center location, there's an organic 'home away from home' vibe." Readers obviously agree, anointing Buffalo native Mike Davis' bar the best in the north, just like last year. And why not? The wings are like meat candy, all spice and sweetness; there are 12 beers on tap, and another 20 or so in bottles; and every weekend, during the season, the family-friendly spot carries every NFL game. — Bryce Crawford
Best Of 2012: Buffalo Wings
Best Of 2012: Buffalo Wings
Best Of 2011: Sports Bar
Best Of 2010: Sports Bar
Best Of 2012: Neighborhood Restaurant: East
Owner and namesake Frank Patton is anything but blasé about his east side eatery Frankie's Too! being recognized as a favorite Neighborhood Restaurant. Back in 2010, the first Frankie's won in the Neighborhood Bar category, but this is the award he's been waiting for. "Anybody can open a bottle of beer," says the affable bar owner, "but we just constantly keep working on the food." First-time visitors, he says, would do well to order the Slopper, which comes smothered in Frankie's homemade green chili. There are also cover bands most Saturdays, although Patton says he's scaling back on live music now that the NFL and college football seasons are in full force. "If there's a band on and you've got Nebraska playing," he says, "it's just ugly." — Bill Forman
It's Tuesday, what are you doin'? Two-buck premium pints plus a $9.99 steak dinner at Frankie's or Frankie's Too, that's what. Both of Frankie Patton's bars are comfortable eastern hangouts for games or a quick, quality bite. Burgers, Tex-Mex and much more.
Best of 2011: Karaoke Bar
Good food, good service, great atmosphere, lots of regulars and an intriguing beverage list (Knock Me Down and Kiss Me, anyone?) make Good Company worthy of its long-running reign in this category, suggest owners Bob and Nanci Jardon. With a widely appealing menu and a relaxed, fun and safe environment for both men and women, Good Company caters to clientele that's mainly age 25 and up. "It's a great place for date night," says Bob, who adds that for the hardcore karaoke performers, the range of music is endless. The only thing not on the song list? "Silent-movie music," he says with a chuckle. — Suzie Calvin
Best Of 2010: Karaoke Bar
Best Of 2010: Neighborhood Bar: North
While I reserve my Dreamgirls moments for the car or my bathroom mirror, those brave enough to take on the mic have found comfort at Good Company. Theme nights and really pretty servers round out the realized vision of owners Bob and Mary Jardon. (Bob chuckles at people calling him the Hugh Hefner of northern Colorado Springs.) As for the singing, he calls what they do "Three-Beer Karaoke," as in, it takes three beers to get on stage and three beers to listen. A server named Angela reassures, "We have great food, a great environment and we ALL sing." So, if you don't mind a little table dancing and have the courage to take center stage, the Jardons promise good company. — Monika Mitchell Randall
OK, it may not be the same as watching Bill Murray croon Roxy Music's "More Than This" to Scarlett Johansson, but Good Company's karaoke nights have their own kind of special moments. Like when folks climb up on the bar during feverish renditions of Buckcherry's "Crazy Bitch," Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me," the occasional Pimp & Ho night ... it's all part of what makes Good Company Colorado Springs' reigning Best Karaoke Bar winner.
2011 Drink Specials
Happy hour: Daily
The goods: $2.75 wells and wines; $7.50 domestic pitchers
Best value: "The company ... the people — it's Good Company."
Made more famous after 75 years by a recent appearance on Travel Channel's Food Wars, Gray's is a legendary spot to take in a slopper: two cheeseburgers topped in red and/or green chile, fries and chopped raw white onions. Messy, heavy, gut-bomb bliss.
Best Of 2012: Neighborhood Bar: South
Best of 2012: Military Bar
The Hatch Cover is the kind of place where everyone feels comfortable — a mixed crowd of all ages and occupations. Rob Hirt and his wife Susan have owned The Hatch for 11 years. "We go out of our way to make everyone feel welcome and safe," says Rob. "We also have a really low turnover because we try to keep the staff happy. We have good managers, too, and there's always a manager here." Besides a menu featuring seafood, steaks, salads and pasta, "we specialize in killer bar grub," he says, "and we're open until 2 a.m. every night of the week." — Kendall Kullman