I have a busy schedule this week. Of course there’s the usual ol’ workaday writing and such, but far more importantly, I have a quickly growing list of new after-dark destinations to investigate. A few will surely confirm my suspicions of theme-bar cheesiness, but I’m always hoping to be pleasantly surprised. At least one of the new spots has already proven refreshingly theme-free on my first visit, and we’ll see about the rest.

The Front Porch recently opened on Writer Square across 15th Street from the Comedy Works, next door to Tryst Lounge. You may be shocked when you walk in; it’s a nice, basic, neighborly bar – a standout among Larimer and LoDo’s recent crop of overdecorated lounges and theme bars. The servers are friendly, the customers mainly local, and the word on the street is hushed in a vain hope to keep it that way.

Coyote Ugly officially opened on March 23, and the place sounds simply horrifying. I have yet to brave the fire-breathing bar babes myself, but I’ve heard that it’s a Texas roadhouse wannabe, with raucous cowgirls partying down on the tables and faux-Western decor dripping from the walls. I must admit, I’m curious (and hubby is annoyingly interested, natch), so I’ll be sure to load up on tequila shots and wear my best imitation snakeskin boots when I do eventually mosey over to check it out.

The Krash Club has moved into the space in the Ice House near Union Station formerly occupied by the original Sevilla Salsa Club, (Remember the leopard-print bar stools and the cave-like stalactites? Grrrrrr.) and briefly occupied by Chrome nightclub. Krash is all about speed racers – think NASCAR, crotch rockets, and all things motorized and/or adrenaline-rush inducing. They even have an ice luge for fast, freezing shots. Seriously. This one is further behind Coyote Ugly on my priority list, but it could be a fine spot to perch and people watch. I mean, have you SEEN those NASCAR folks? Apparently it’s not just for rednecks anymore, but they do exist in a slightly different universe that’s just outside my comfort zone.

One more – Michelangelo’s is a new coffee and wine bar on South Broadway in the funky little neighborhood that surrounds the Mayan Theater. I have yet to step inside (actually I’ve only just spotted it last weekend driving past) but it combines two of my absolute favorite beverages in one convenient location. If they have free wi-fi, I may never have a reason to leave.

Feel free to clue me in on any of these places if you’ve been; otherwise, I’ll be making the rounds soon enough. Stay tuned for the full reports.