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Nighttime hangouts - East 

When it comes to bars and breweries, this area's got heart and soul

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Yes, friends, the heart of rock and roll is still beating, and when it comes to cover bands outside of downtown, the East is the Beast. OK, fine, we can't guarantee Huey Lewis songs. But with this past winter's addition of Holy Cow Pub & Grill (5885 Stetson Hills Blvd, holycowpubandgrill.com), you'll get cover-happy local favorites 6035 — as we write this, they can several times a month be found at the Cow, along with drink specials, a plethora of 50-inch TVs, and a rooftop bar with a fire pit.

That said, Holy Cow wasn't the first to bring a little bit of downtown Tejon Street cover love to the east side. The venerable Frankie's Bar & Grill (945 N. Powers Blvd., frankiesbargrill.com) has spent a quarter-century offering up all the hits in a friendly neighborhood atmosphere. Owner Frankie Patton also holds the distinction of having been sued a few years ago by Led Zeppelin for failure to pay ASCAP fees. Undaunted, Frankie's still books cover bands, but don't go there expecting to hear "Stairway to Heaven" anytime soon.

And if Holy Cow's rooftop isn't enough for you, you'll find even more fire pits out on the spacious patio of Oscar's East (5910 Omaha Blvd., 574-7447). This sister, or cousin or whatever, to the downtown Oscar's offers more drink-special-slinging bartenders and sand volleyball than a Tom Cruise movie. Also on Omaha is the Hideout Lounge (6437 Omaha Blvd., 596-9771), a neighborhood spot that hosts karaoke and some live music.

Over on Academy Boulevard, dancers can choose from a variety of destination spots. For the country music crowd, Copperhead Road (3330 N. Academy Blvd., thecopperheadroad.com) gives you a mix of DJ'd and live music (and drink specials). Just a bit to the south, at Latin Quarters (1865 N. Academy Blvd., 591-1502), your hips can get a serious workout. And if your salsa's not so spicy, check out the lessons there every Friday night from 7:30 to 10.

Of course, sometimes you just have a hankerin' for a decades-old establishment where you can be treated like family and also hoist a beer in homage to the "Homey" shrine that rests on the bartop. That would be Bernie's Place (1106 N. Circle Drive, 635-7865). Or, if you can somehow manage to get by without the Homey figurines, Rhino's Sports & Spirits (4307 Integrity Center Point Place, rhinosbar.com) offers about a dozen HDTVs, electronic darts, video bowling, video golf and (non-video) beer pong. Plus, there are broadcasts of UFC fights, so you can get your Quinton Rampage fix.

The brew scene out here has some fight to it, too. Rocky Mountain Brewery (625 Paonia St., rockymountainbrews.com) produces exceptional small-batch beers; at last year's All Colorado Beer Festival, it won the Favorite Brewer Award at both tasting sessions. And its amazing cherry pie version earned it a gold medal at the World Beer Cup. Those who can't sustain on liquid cherry pie alone can bring food in, order delivery from another place, or support a barbecue vendor that often parks outside.

Inarguably more corporate, but still worth a mention for brewing around a dozen beers on-site, is Rock Bottom (3316 Cinema Point Drive, rockbottom.com). Brewmaster Jason Leeman has proven his prowess by earning awards at last summer's Manitou Craft Lager Festival.

Finally, keep an eye out for Odyssey Brewing Company in the coming year. Talented former Arctic Craft Brewery head John Dunfee says the restaurant and brewery project is drawing closer to completing its investment phase, though initial location options on the east side of town have been occupied. So this concept could land elsewhere in town. Will its heart remain out east? Stay tuned. As Huey himself put it, the power of love is a curious thing.

— Additional reporting by Matthew Ruppert and Matthew Schniper

Click here for a East Colorado Springs map!

  • When it comes to bars and breweries, this area's got heart and soul

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