I first stopped by the Lobby American Grille for a happy hour sponsored by the management staff of my apartment complex, which is smack in the middle of the Ballpark neighborhood. The place was full of young and middle-aged professionals chatting away, relaxing after a long day at work. It was what you’d expect from any good happy hour: fun and laid-back.

When the temperature hit 78 degrees last Tuesday, I decided the Lobby’s large patio and buzzing atmosphere were just what I needed after a stressful workday. Although the Lobby is just slightly out of the way (at the corner of 22nd and Arapahoe streets), it’s mere blocks from the downtown core, so I expected it to once again be hopping.

I was in for a surprise.

The modern-looking restaurant, with contemporary black chairs and dark-stained wood floors, was close to empty when my friend and I walked through the front door, and it stayed that way the entire hour we were there.  Our twentysomething waitress—with her dyed black hair and tattoos—didn’t seem to notice, though. She was as friendly and attentive as the waitstaff had been when the place was bustling, and our drinks and food were quick to reach the table.

The extensive happy-hour menu more than made up for the quiet—which turned out to be a refreshing fragment of tranquility in my day. I reclined with a light Agave Wheat from Breckenridge Brewery ($4 for a pint), while dipping thick flatbread slices into silky-smooth green-chili hummus ($4). Even though it wasn’t what we’d anticipated, my friend and I appreciated the opportunity to engage in conversation without the distracting hustle and bustle of the typical after-work crowd.

Happy hour at the Lobby runs from 4 to 6:30 p.m. every day and from 10 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Drinks range from $3 to $5, and a Colorado microbrew tower of TK beers is $20. Bar snacks—from ahi tuna sliders to calamari—cost $3 to $8.

2191 Arapahoe St., 303-997-9911

Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at daliahsinger.com.