Best Of 2006

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click to enlarge At 15C, theyre dedicated to helping Colorado Springs - fight scurvy and taste-bud boredom. - JON KELLEY
  • Jon Kelley
  • At 15C, theyre dedicated to helping Colorado Springs fight scurvy and taste-bud boredom.
click to enlarge Word to The Black Sheep. - JON KELLEY
  • Jon Kelley
  • Word to The Black Sheep.

Best Martini Bar

click to enlarge Make a memory at Rum Bay  then see if you can - retrieve it in the morning. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Make a memory at Rum Bay then see if you can retrieve it in the morning.

Upscale Bar

click to enlarge Youll never see SoDo this empty again. - BRUCE ELLIOTT
  • Bruce Elliott
  • Youll never see SoDo this empty again.

Bar for a Specialty Mixed Cocktail

click to enlarge Red rover, red rover  send your beer lovers on over (to - Tonys). - L'AURA MONTGOMERY-RUTT
  • L'Aura Montgomery-Rutt
  • Red rover, red rover send your beer lovers on over (to Tonys).

Bar Where You Can Still Smoke*

click to enlarge Yes, they are real, and theyre spectacular.  Jack - Quinns - L'AURA MONTGOMERY-RUTT
  • L'Aura Montgomery-Rutt
  • Yes, they are real, and theyre spectacular. Jack Quinns

*Smoking rules in these establishments may be subject to change. Gold 15C Club 15 E. Bijou St., Suite C, 635-8303 15C is where the hip succumb to oversized martinis and understated style. The soft, carefully arranged lighting imparts a warm glow to the worn-down and the 9-ounce martini glasses don't hurt, either. The bartenders are engaging enough to ensure their patrons' comfort, yet their unobtrusiveness allows for intimate conversations. They also fresh-squeeze their juices, and stuff their Maytag bleu cheese olives by hand.

click to enlarge Its your ante at the Undergrounds poker night. Are you - in or are you in? - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Its your ante at the Undergrounds poker night. Are you in or are you in?

"Our drinks are consistent, and if you know what to order, it's the cheapest bar in town," says mixologist Mike C. "You can walk in and see guys in suits socializing with people with mohawks. 15C is the great equalizer." AB Martini Bar Silver Ritz Grill 15 S. Tejon St., 635-8484

click to enlarge Ricos: a place where everyone knows your name - especially if youre the owner. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Ricos: a place where everyone knows your name especially if youre the owner.

ritzgrill.com Bronze MacKenzie's Chop House 128 S. Tejon St., 635-3536

click to enlarge Now remember: Liquor before beer ...
  • Now remember: Liquor before beer ...

restauranteur.com/mackenzieschophousecom Upscale Bar Silver V Bar 19 E. Kiowa St. Bronze The Famous Steakhouse 31 N. Tejon St., 227-7333

click to enlarge Garden of the Gods: Your one-stop shop for marriage - propose and hold the wedding there. - PETER FECTEAU
  • Peter Fecteau
  • Garden of the Gods: Your one-stop shop for marriage propose and hold the wedding there.

restauranteur.com/famous Bar for a Specialty Mixed Cocktail Silver V Bar 19 E. Kiowa St. Bronze Ritz Grill 15 S. Tejon St., 635-8484

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ritzgrill.com Bar Where You Can Still Smoke Silver V Bar 19 E. Kiowa St. Bronze Rendezvous Lounge 128 N. Tejon St., 632-1381 Best Local Live Music Venue Gold The Black Sheep 2106 E. Platte Ave., 227-7625

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sodajerkpresents.com Still one of the top spots in town to scene-watch, The Black Sheep has converted its inauspicious gray warehouse into a veritable landmark. Featuring slick murals, cheap PBRs and pinball games along with the parade of black T-shirt/white-belt bands, the Sheep keeps everyone who's anyone coming back for aural abuse. JTR Silver Southside Johnny's 528 S. Tejon St., 444-8487

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southsidejohnnys.biz Bronze The Thirsty Parrot

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Bar & Grill 32 S. Tejon St., 884-1094

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thirstyparrot.net Best Local Cover Band

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Local Original Band Gold The Martini Shot martinishotband.net Since 2000, Pueblo's favorite act, The Martini Shot, has taken its act up north to the Springs and dazzled with an eclectic mix of pop, rock, funk and soul. They're mainstays at both The Thirsty Parrot and, down the road, Southside Johnny's. You can catch them at one of these two venues on an almost weekly basis.

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So who cares that they pulled in wins in categories that were created specifically so we could have separate winners? Not their impressively loyal fan base. Do they have a name? May we suggest Martini Shooters? PF Local Cover Band Silver Big Ivory Ticklers bigivoryticklers.com Bronze The Remotes remotesband.com Local Original Band Silver 1 Ton Trio

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myspace.com/1tontrio Bronze Sanguine Addiction sangineaddiction.com Best Club DJ Gold Brandon Lee What exactly makes Brandon Lee the DJ/VDJ you want to dance to? John Gowan of SoDo (where Lee appears three nights a week) says it's quite simple: "He programs each night where he knows he's gonna take them on a ride." Buckle up. CSB Silver DJ Jo Jo Bronze DJ Serge Best Place to Dance the Salsa Gold Latin Quarters 1865 N. Academy Blvd., 591-1502 At this energy-fueled dance club, feet fly, hips sway and dancers work up a sweat to the pulsing, upbeat tempo of Latin dance music. Latin Quarters is the place to be if you're looking for the spicy salsa dance scene in Colorado Springs. KB Silver Jose Muldoon's 222 N. Tejon St., 636-2311

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josemuldoons.com Bronze Cowboys Night Club 3910 Palmer Park Blvd., 596-1212

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csnightclubs.com/cowboys Best Place to Two-Step Gold Cowboys Night Club 3910 Palmer Park Blvd., 596-1212

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csnightclubs.com/cowboys/ There's something about horse saddles and buffalo heads that really wrangles up good two-stepping. Cowboys' dance hall has 20 years of line-dancing, waltz and country swing under its belt. And it mixes up the sounds: Country, hip-hop and R&B music all figure into its boot-kicking country-western flair. TW Silver Rowdy's Night Club 414 W. Fillmore Ave., 635-9211 Bronze Mill Hill Saloon 1668 S. 21st St., 632-6932 Best Place to Dance Like a Fool Gold Rum Bay 20 N. Tejon St., 634-3522 Maybe you like hip-hop. Maybe you like country and rock. Maybe you like cover bands. Or karaoke. Or disco hits. Or techno. Or, hell, soft rock. No matter your flavor, Rum Bay's got a dance floor for you to go nuts on. So dance like nobody's watching. PF Silver SoDo 527 S. Tejon St., 314-0420

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sodonightlife.com Bronze The Underground Bar 110 N. Nevada Ave., 578-7771 Best New Bar

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Happy Hour Gold SoDo 527 S. Tejon St., 314-0420

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sodonightlife.com Four years of market analysis have produced the ultimate Colorado Springs nightlife destination. SoDo opened in late April to considerable fanfare, featuring VJs mixing music videos that are displayed on screens ranging in size from 50 inches to a 10-by-12-foot behemoth. Live music rings in happy hour every Friday at 4 p.m., and the party doesn't end on Saturday nights until 4 a.m. If you want to get down, this is the place to go. SoDo can fit 388 people in its 5,500 feet of commercial space, and groove shakers pack the dance floor on the weekends. TD New Bar Silver The Underground Bar 110 N. Nevada Ave., 578-7771 Bronze Metropolitain 101 N. Tejon St., 302-0280

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restauranteur.com/metropolitain Happy Hour Silver V Bar 19 E. Kiowa St. Bronze Oscar's Tejon Street 333 S. Tejon St., 471-8070 Best Bartender Gold Bill Sojourner at The Famous Steakhouse 31 N. Tejon St., 227-7333

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restauranteur.com/famous The Famous' owner, Chris Martell, is quick to sing the praises of his top bartender, Bill Sojourner. "He's an extremely professional bartender, basically," Martell says. "It's second nature to him just to give good service. There's a lot of people who come in here just for him." PF Silver Ben at Ritz Grill 15 S. Tejon St., 635-8484

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ritzgrill.com Bronze Cliff at SoDo 527 S. Tejon St., 314-0420

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sodonightlife.com Best Bang-for-Your-Buck Bar

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Neighborhood Bar Gold Tony's 311 N. Tejon St., 228-6566 Comfortably ensconced beneath the cascading waterfall on the classic, shimmering Hamm's sign, one can confidently put down pitcher after pitcher of Wisconsin's finest without breaking the bank. Burgers, sandwiches and some pretty good fries join imports like cheese curds and pickled eggs. Swift barkeeps help the good times roll, and sports fans will like the high-def televisions, which are especially popular when the Packers or Badgers grind on the gridiron. Vocal fans of visiting teams, beware: Tony's has that friendly neighborhood vibe, but if you don't back the Pack, this ain't your neighborhood. DTR Bang-for-Your-Buck Bar Silver Murphy's Tavern 2729 N. Nevada Ave., 634-9196 Bronze Oscar's Tejon Street 333 S. Tejon St., 471-8070 Neighborhood Bar Silver Benny's Restaurant and Lounge 517 W. Colorado Ave., 634-9309 Bronze McCabe's Tavern 520 S. Tejon St., 633-3300

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mccabestavern.com Best Casino Gold Double Eagle Hotel and Casino 442 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 800/711-7234

decasino.com Whether you enjoy casual nickel slots, a nail-biting game of blackjack, poker tournaments or Surf 'n Turf and cocktails, the Double Eagle Hotel and Casino gets your vote as best bet. Win, lose or break even, wile away the day or the whole weekend on the 400 block in historic Cripple Creek. CSB Silver Bronco Billy's Casino 233 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719/689-2142

broncobillyscasino.com Bronze Womacks Casino & Hotel 200-220 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 888/966-2257

womackscasino.com Best Irish Pub Gold Jack Quinn's Pub and Irish Restaurant 21 S. Tejon St., 385-0766

jackquinnspub.com Almost every day of the week, live music sets the ambience of Jack Quinn's as you gulp down a black-and-tan, poured Guinness or a few rounds of depth-chargers. Sit on a wooden bench, bite into the beer-battered fish and chips, and know why this pub took the gold. SK Silver McCabe's Tavern 520 S. Tejon St., 633-3300

mccabestavern.com Bronze The Dublin House 1850 Dominion Way, 265-8820 Best Place to Chill Gold Shuga's Restaurant Bar 702 S. Cascade Ave., 328-1412

shugas.com Five years ago, Shuga's owner Alexius Weston set out to open herself an establishment with an environment people would feel comfortable in. "It comes down to ambience and atmosphere," she says. Well, mission accomplished. "We have a little niche here. This is the hippest little place in town, actually." PF Silver V Bar 19 E. Kiowa St. Bronze The Underground Bar 110 N. Nevada Ave., 578-7771 Best Sports Bar Gold Champps Americana 1765 Briargate Pkwy., 548-0113

champps.com Until the Springs gets its own professional sports franchise (and it's right around the corner, folks can you sense it?), we local sports fans are stuck with a plethora of local sports bars. At least we've got some good ones, like Champps, which, misspelled name be darned, keeps the games on and the volume up. PF Silver Old Chicago Four locations

oldchicago.com Bronze Overtime Sports Bar & Grill 2809 Dublin Blvd., 531-6032

otsportsbar&grill.com Best Bar with a Patio

Gay-Friendly Bar

Karaoke

Poker Night

Hangout Gold The Underground Bar 110 N. Nevada Ave., 578-7771 The Springs club scene's creepy little brother has finally grown up, and a brighter, friendly, openly gay club now stands in his place. New owners Tom and Jerry have taken great care to maintain the Underground's definitive personality, while transforming it into a place for anyone to feel welcome.

Known by regulars as "the gay Cheers of Colorado," the new Underground has already found its loyal patrons. That devoted clientele has given the bar a very warm welcome, leaving the owners "thrilled and very humbled" by their success. While this drastic makeover was long overdue, the old spirit of the Underground, and the legend it has become, still hang on. JK Bar with a Patio Silver Oscar's Tejon Street 333 S. Tejon St., 471-8070 Bronze Jose Muldoon's 222 N. Tejon St., 636-2311

josemuldoons.com Gay-Friendly Bar Silver Club Q 3430 N. Academy Blvd., 570-1429

clubqonline.com Bronze Eden Nite Club 217 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 635-0999

edenniteclub.com Karaoke Silver Good Company Restaurant and Bar 7625 N. Union Blvd., 528-8877 Bronze The Dublin House 1850 Dominion Way, 265-8820 Poker Night Silver Tony's 311 N. Tejon St., 228-6566 Bronze Thirsty's Tavern 2028 Sheldon Ave., 444-8515 Hangout Silver Tony's 311 N. Tejon St., 228-6566 Bronze V Bar 19 E. Kiowa St. Best Wine Bar Gold Rico's Caf and Wine Bar 322 N. Tejon St., 630-7723 One of four storefronts affiliated with Poor Richard's (and perhaps ironically so, as "rico" translates to "rich" in English) Rico's brings a bit of elegance to an otherwise eccentric block. And it's quiet perfect for canoodling over a glass of red with that "special someone." Which makes it good for people-watching, too. PF Silver The Blue Star 1645 S. Tejon St., 632-1086

thebluestar.net Bronze Mona Lisa Gourmet Caf & Fondue 733 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-0277

monalisafondue.com Best Beer Selection on Tap Gold Old Chicago Four locations

oldchicago.com Patrons take pride filling their World Beer Tour passport by trying all 110 beer selections. With all those choices, what is the No. 1 favorite? Budweiser. Ugh.Next time you go, try a Colorado microbrew, a German Hefeweizen, or an authentic British. Or start the tour and sample beer from around the globe. GE Silver (tie) Bristol Brewing Company 1647 S. Tejon St., 633-2555

bristolbrewing.com Phantom Canyon Brewing Company 2 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 635-2800

phantomcanyon.com Bronze Jack Quinn's Pub and Irish Restaurant 21 S. Tejon St., 385-0766

jackquinnspub.com Best Local Microbrewery Gold Bristol Brewing Company 1647 S. Tejon St., 633-2555

bristolbrewing.com They say their mission is to make beer that calls to mind three things: quality, purity and sanity. Quality, yes. Purity, yes. Sanity ... hell, why not? After a couple beers, just about anything sounds reasonable. Since 1994, this microbrewery has been kicking out some seriously good beer, led by Laughing Lab, its award-winning Scottish ale. TD Silver Phantom Canyon Brewing Company 2 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 635-2800

phantomcanyon.com Bronze Rock Bottom Brewery 3316 Cinema Point, 550-3586

rockbottom.com Best Domestic Beer Gold Budweiser budweiser.com Let's face it: Those boys at Budweiser have been doing some killer marketing. Bud sells at the rate of one barrel per second, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You know that Jeff Tweedy lyric, "You're the only sober person I know"? It's true take our keys, ASAP. TD Silver Coors coors.com Bronze Miller Genuine Draft mgd.com Best Domestic Light Beer Gold Bud Light budlight.com This news feels monumental, somehow. Perhaps Coloradans have tapped the Rockies for too long. Coors Light, Shmoors Light, right? After all, Bud Light is the best-selling beer in the United States and the No. 1 light beer in the world. Drink up there's no shame. This time, defeat is delicious. TD Silver Coors Light coorslight.com Bronze Miller Lite millerlite.com Best Imported Beer Gold Guinness guinness.com Famous for its white foam and black body appearance, this Irish stout is a favorite in Colorado Springs' watering holes. With a caramel start and a toasty finish, Guinness satisfies the bittersweet equation lacking in other imported brews. And it goes great with a sharp cheese, too. NZ Silver Corona Light coronalight.com Bronze Stella Artois stellaartois.com Best Imported Light Beer Gold Corona Light coronalight.com Sure, Colorado beer is pretty excellent, but let's not be nave here. Corona Light far surpasses the sweet and watery mediocrity of most light beers, and after climbing around in the heat at Garden of the Gods Park or a long day at the office, this Mexican beer can be just what they say: "Miles away from ordinary." TW Silver Amstel Light amstellight.com Bronze Heineken Light heinekenlight.com Best Vodka Gold Grey Goose greygoosevodka.com Hailing from the Cognac region of France, Grey Goose vodka comes in four flavors (original, orange, citrus and vanilla) for a smooth after-dinner drink in Colorado Springs' finest martini bars. This grain vodka comes in a bird-painted bottle, impossible to miss at the liquor store when you're restocking. NZ Silver Stoli stoli.com Bronze Colorado Vodka coloradovodka.com Best Rum Gold Captain Morgan thebar.com This distinctive spirit is aged in oak barrels, flavored with Caribbean island spices, and is as versatile as a pirate's "Arrrgh!" More than 200 drinks can be unlocked with this skeleton key of alcoholic beverages. Who wouldn't want a Tropical Orgasm? This 70-proof Captain is at your service. TD Silver Bacardi bacardi.com Bronze Malibu maliburum.com Best Tequila Gold Patr'n patronspirits.com Everyone in the world knows that the real "best tequila" is Pee Wee Herman's dance scene in Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Thievin' Patr'n. Well, cheers anyway to the distilled, fermented juices of blue agave hearts and the last time they made me bulletproof. Mexico's national drink is, indeed, well-represented by Patr'n. MS Silver Jose Cuervo cuervo.com Bronze Sauza sauzatequila.com Best Outdoor Place to Pop the Question

Place for a Wedding Gold Garden of the Gods Park gardenofthegods.com The red sandstone rock formations among the paved trails in a landscape just northwest of Colorado Springs have made Garden of the Gods one of the most versatile natural treasures in the state. The landmark is accessible to grandparents with walkers and avid rock climbers alike, making it the perfect park for a host of events and everyday gatherings. Dedicated as a free city park in 1909, Garden of the Gods and its 1,340 acres have captivated tourists and locals alike ever since. NZ Outdoor Place to Pop the Question Silver Pikes Peak pikes-peak.com Bronze The Broadmoor 1 Lake Circle, 634-7711

broadmoor.com Place for a Wedding Silver Hillside Gardens & Nursery 1006 S. Institute St., 520-9463

hillsidegardens.net Bronze The Broadmoor 1 Lake Circle, 634-7711

broadmoor.com

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