Earlier this week our friends at the Westword Cafe Society posted a piece about an upcoming transformation of one of the most iconic and ridiculous dive bars in Denver: Rockbar. I linked it to our editor PJ with a large sigh of dismay, and asked if I should write a piece about how terrible an idea this concept seemed to be. I initially decided against it as I’m trying to be less of a judgmental prick (I was raised on the East Coast, what do you expect?).
But after reading the almost unanimously negative comments on that post I think it’s ripe time to say: fuck all that.
This concept that Laird and Morreale are running with is one of the most uninspired restaurant concepts I can think of to date. ANOTHER sports bar? AND ANOTHER burger joint? Really? That’s the best you guys can come up with? This honestly sounds like something that’s more appropriate to an end-cap retail spot in Park Meadows, not on the “longest, wickedest street in America.”
And don’t even get me started on taking one of the better divey-but-not-nearly-as-terrifying-as-Bar-Bar bars in Denver and turning it into haven for chads. Talk all you want about “not fucking with the integrity of Rockbar,” but turning it into a place that will “bleed orange and blue” (yes, you’re probably tasting bile right now) is a complete 180-degrees from where it is now. Anyone who expects the existing crowd at Rockbar to merge well with the typical football fan is naive at best; they’re two entirely divergent cliques. Did you guys not watch any Freaks and Geeks? You can still serve your cheap PBR and MD 20/20 shots all you want, but you need to realize the underlying issue people have with this metamorphosis is not a change in the venue, but a change in the target audience.
One of the suggestions put to me in my aforementioned quest to improve my overly critical attitude is to present a solution, so now’s probably about the right time in this rant to do so: Drop the sports bar angle. Nuke it and send it back to the circle of hell from whence it came because honestly, we don’t need any more of them. Keep Rockbar exactly how it is now, but add a badass kitchen serving the badass burgers you want to serve. Not only will you not be committing murder on an incredibly fun bar, but you’ll be turning it into something that’s unique in our wonderful cow town. There’s not a single dive I’d trust the food from in this city, but if you create it (and keep the douchebags enjoying sports where they should) you will find a loyal and loving customer in me.