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Party Favors 

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.

BEST
Martini Bar
Upscale Bar
Bar for a Specialty Mixed Cocktail
Bar Where You Can Still Smoke*
*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.

"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
ritzgrill.com

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

Upscale Bar
Silver
V Bar
19 E. Kiowa St.

Bronze
The Famous Steakhouse
31 N. Tejon St., 227-7333
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
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
sodajerkpresents.com

Word to The Black Sheep. - JON KELLEY
  • Jon Kelley
  • Word to The Black Sheep.

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
southsidejohnnys.biz

Bronze
The Thirsty Parrot Bar & Grill
32 S. Tejon St., 884-1094
thirstyparrot.net

BEST
Local Cover Band
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.

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
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

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.

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
josemuldoons.com

Bronze
Cowboys Night Club
3910 Palmer Park Blvd., 596-1212
csnightclubs.com/cowboys

BEST
Best Place to Two-Step
Gold
Cowboys Night Club
3910 Palmer Park Blvd., 596-1212
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
sodonightlife.com

Bronze
The Underground Bar
110 N. Nevada Ave., 578-7771

BEST
New Bar
Happy Hour
Gold
SoDo
527 S. Tejon St., 314-0420
sodonightlife.com

Youll never see SoDo this empty again. - L'AURA MONTGOMERY-RUTT
  • L'Aura Montgomery-Rutt
  • Youll never see SoDo this empty again.

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

Silver
The Underground Bar
110 N. Nevada Ave., 578-7771

Bronze
Metropolitain
101 N. Tejon St., 302-0280
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
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
ritzgrill.com

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

BEST
Bang-for-Your-Buck Bar
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

BEST
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

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).

Neighborhood Bar
Silver
Benny's Restaurant and Lounge
517 W. Colorado Ave., 634-9309

Bronze
McCabe's Tavern
520 S. Tejon St., 633-3300
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

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.

Silver
V Bar
19 E. Kiowa St.

Bronze
The Underground Bar
110 N. Nevada Ave., 578-7771

BEST
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

BEST
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

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?

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

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

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

Now remember: Liquor before beer ...
  • Now remember: Liquor before beer ...

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

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.

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 Br>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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