The Bark Bar Opens in the Highlands

The Bark Bar opens in the Highlands (Photo ©Sarah Haughey)

The Bark Bar opens in the Highlands (Photo ©Sarah Haughey)

In the first two weeks since Catherine Peters opened The Bark Bar in the Highlands (4132 West 38th Avenue), she has garnered a huge dog-loving clientele and established one of the largest craft beer can selections in Denver, and maybe even the state. Sure, the focus is the fenced-in dog yard, where our furry friends can run around and tackle each other, while we sip our brews at the picnic tables or on the patio under heat lamps, but the indoor bar area is where it’s at. Unfortunately, doggies are not allowed inside (neither are non-furry kids).

In a city full of beetle kill wood bars, The Bark Bar sets itself apart with a cozy industrial theme. The bar, made out of concrete and sealed so it’s smooth and durable, is the perfect height at 42 inches. The bar stools? Fashioned out of old semi-truck springs and topped with brown leather cushions, making for a cozy (and bouncy) spot to sit your bum for a couple brewskis. Even better, there are strategically placed coat hooks every two bar stools.

Bar stools at The Bark Bar (Photo ©Sarah Haughey)

Bar stools at The Bark Bar (Photo ©Sarah Haughey)

The beer selection is top-notch, with 12 seasonally rotating taps featuring mostly local breweries and a current can selection of 68, which Peters expects to grow with the help of co-owner and General Manager Mike Faber, who helped open Park & Co. in Uptown. The cans are uniquely displayed in three little nooks on the wall behind the bar, cached only by small glass sliding doors.

Colorado craft makes up the majority of The Bark Bar's 12 taps (Photo ©Sarah Haughey)

Colorado craft makes up the majority of The Bark Bar’s 12 taps (Photo ©Sarah Haughey)

Craft can cooler (Photo ©Sarah Haughey)

Craft can cooler (Photo ©Sarah Haughey)

“We love love love craft beer, and are particularly loyal to Colorado craft beer because, first of all, it’s awesome, and second of all, part of our mission is to support local business. ” says Peters. “However, there are some fantastic craft beers in the rest of the country that we can’t ignore so we do carry a few selections from outside Colorado. We scoured the state and the country for the best craft beer in cans and I think we can safely say that we have the best selection of canned craft beer in Denver.”

Why cans and not a bigger draft system? Glass isn’t allowed out in the dog yard, plus cans are more environmentally friendly.

In addition to a great line-up of craft beer, The Bark Bar caters to cocktail and whiskey lovers with a full bar, stocked with both higher-end and approachable spirits. Don’t see your favorite? Faber, who manages most of the bar selection, says he will only buy liquor that his customers will like and will not hesitate to order a bottle per special request.

The Bark Bar has a great selection of small-batch whiskey (Photo ©Sarah Haughey)

The Bark Bar has a great selection of small-batch whiskey (Photo ©Sarah Haughey)

The drink menu is creative, listing aptly named cocktails like “The Bark Bar Salty Dog” with grapefruit infused vodka and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, served on the rocks with a salted rim. Then there’s The Bloodhound, concocted with bloody mix and roasted chili infused vodka. All infused liquors are made in-house by Faber himself.

Faber says that since opening, his hot toddies have been some of the most popular orders. From the Hot Buttered Rump with Kraken spiced rum, brown sugar, nutmeg, and cloves, to the Irish Wolfhound with Bailey’s, Tullamore Dew, and your choice of daily brewed coffee.

Yes, you heard it right, house-brewed coffee. The Bark Bar has a full espresso bar with beans from Vail Mountain Coffee and trained baristas to make you a latte, macchiato, or cappuccino – maybe someday they can enter a contest for dog-themed foam art.

Catherine Peters making a latte (Photo ©Sarah Haughey)

Catherine Peters making a latte (Photo ©Sarah Haughey)

Opening at 10 a.m. every day, The Bark Bar is not only the perfect place to booze it up with your furry friend, but telecommuters can enjoy free WiFi with their morning (or afternoon) coffee while the dogs get their energy out in the yard. Worried about watching your dog? Don’t. Huge glass garage doors provide a clear view outside, while on busy days, a yard attendant will keep a close eye on your little monsters.

There are even talks about partnering with local doggie daycares to have someone on hand if there is a big sports game so dog parents (again The Bark Bar is a kid-free zone) can take a break and watch the action on a projector inside the bar.

As for events, Peters already has some tricks up her sleeve. On Thursday, January 16, 4-7 p.m., The Bark Bar will host the release party for the DoggieGone app featuring beer from Renegade Brewing Company and free gift bags with Kong toys for the first 75 guests. Plus, Billy’s Gourmet Hot Dogs will be catering the event.

Peters says she also plans to host regular events with local rescue and dog advocate groups. Be sure to visit The Bark Bar’s website and sign up for event announcements.

Lab play-date at The Bark Bar (Photo ©Sarah Haughey)

Lab play-date at The Bark Bar (Photo ©Sarah Haughey)

 

About Sarah Haughey


Editor, Denver off the Wagon. Sarah is a native of the "Napa Valley of beer," but her beer-drinking roots stretch all the way back to the Emerald Isle where Haughey (Haw-hee) is famous. Sure, our name may have got it's rap from the corrupt prime minister, but we like to think it stands strong due to our long-standing ability to pound a few too many pints. After stints on the East Coast and in San Francisco, Sarah came running back to Denver where her full-time job is exploring all the city's new craft breweries one sip at a time. Follow me @sarahhaughey4 to see where I'm grabbing a beer or for news about local breweries. Like to cook? Me too, check out: Lifewithalittlespice.com

  • Mike

    Really surprised a place in such a family heavy neighborhood does not allow kids. Just rare to find any place nowadays that explicitly bans kids.

    • Fletchmonger

      Makes SO MUCH SENSE! Denver dog parks ban kids because of the inherent danger. And the last thing I want to worry about as I drink my small batch bourbon is that my pup will bite the face off of a kid who pulled on his tail…

      • Goingtheresoon

        Agreed.

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