Holiday Bar Hop

December 27 2004, 9:20 PM
Boy, am I glad it's Monday. Yes, that's a strange statement, but true nonetheless. After all the holiday insanity last weekend, I'm ready for a nice, quiet, normal Monday. No feasts, no cocktails, no swarms of family and friends. Not that I'm complaining. But I'm a Christmas baby, so Saturday night, instead of doing the normal go-home-and-watch-TV thing after eating way too much food, I rallied the friends who were in town and available for a holiday bar hop. Saturday night at the retro-cool Broadway bar Skylark Lounge, we took over a cozy corner of the neighborhood spot, played pool, and drank shots of chocolate cake. (They even sang "Happy Birthday" as we had our cake - cute, no?) Sunday night we hit the Pepsi center to catch the Nuggests game with a mixed group of about a dozen friends and family members. After the game, we wandered into the Blue Sky Grill where we spotted Broncos running back Reuben Droughns hanging at the bar with friends. It was hard to tell if the guys with us were more excited to see him or the half-dozen members of the Nuggets dancers hanging out in their form-fitting baby blue Nuggets track suits. Next we wandered over to Larimer Square for a peek at the new Martini Ranch that opened last week in the former home of Soapy Smith's. Unlike the post-game scene at Blue Sky, Martini Ranch was practically empty, and the music was super cheesy (apparently they didn't have a DJ last night like they usually do, so it was a computerized 80's hits playlist -- ick). But the space is very stylish, blending mod seating and granite bars with brick walls, a 150-year-old stained glass ceiling, and a gorgeous western view from the upstairs level. We liked the classic Level martini, which came slightly dirty with two huge cocktail olives. Also good: the Klondike Bar martini, a sweet, slightly minty cocktail, and the Vanilla Mojito, which came -- like everything else -- in a martini glass. But it came rimmed with loads of sugar and full of fresh mint. Tasty. Tonight, I was hoping for some quality time in front of the Tivo, but now it looks like we're off to entertain our visiting family members at Lucky Strike Lanes. (Break out the bowling shoes!) Maybe tomorrow I can rest.