Bar and Stools
The Thin Man
At a mere 14 feet wide, this cramped spot barely has room for a bar top and stools, but the expansive white-marble slab and high-backed seats give an old-school accompaniment to the bar’s modern infused-vodka concoctions. 2015 E. 17th Ave., 303-320-7814

The Cherry Cricket
How does a dive bar slinging burgers survive in chichi Cherry Creek North? The Cricket sells about 500 of its top-shelf pub patties a night to the students and suits who pack the bar looking for sports, beer, and beef. That’s how. 2641 E. Second Ave., 303-322-7666

Gabor’s On the Hill
Patsy Cline. Check. Joe Strummer. Check. Miles Davis. Check. A masterfully loaded jukebox in a world of preprogrammed bar music? Priceless. 1223 E. 13th Ave., 303-832-3108

Beer and Wine List
Jonesy’s Eat Bar
This gastro-pub has a well-edited beer list, pouring nearly two dozen varieties of Colorado’s finest brews, such as Oskar Blues’ Gordon and Great Divide’s Oak-Aged Yeti. And for the wine snobs in your group, the wine list’s 16 by-the-glass options crush the standard “house red.” 400 E. 20th Ave., 303-863-7473

My Brother’s Bar
For more than 100 years, the bartenders at Denver’s oldest-running watering hole have struck the perfect balance: serving drinks, taking care of regulars, and making newcomers feel at home with their quick wit. No wonder Beat-generation icon Neal Cassady ran up a tab. 2376 15th St., 303-455-9991

Forget the haphazard mixing of booze at most bars. At Steuben’s, cocktails are crafted with a precision that is artful and, yes, intoxicating. Order the Old Fashioned. You’ll thank us. 523 E. 17th Ave., 303-830-1001

Recession-Proof Happy Hours

Where: Vinestreet Pub and Brewery 1700 Vine St., 303-388-2337
When: Weeknights, 4-6 p.m.; 10 p.m.-close
You’re Drinking: Pint of Illusion Dweller I.P.A.
The Incentive: “Recession Burger” special with fries, but no frills
Wallet Damage: $2.75 pint + $4.50 burger = $7.25

Where: The Corner Office 1401 Curtis St., 303-825-6500
When: All week, 5-7 p.m.; 10 p.m.-close
You’re Drinking: PBR
The Incentive: Swanky environment meets cheap food and beer
Wallet Damage: $1 pint + $6 bucket of dogs and tater tots = $7

Where: Mezcal 3230 E. Colfax Ave., 303-322-5219
When: Weeknights, 10 p.m.-close
You’re Drinking: Herradura Blanco margarita
The Incentive: Tacos cost a buck
Wallet Damage: $6.50 margarita + $1 taco = $7.50

Where: Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza 2129 Larimer St., 303-296-7000
When: Weeknights, 3-6 p.m.
You’re Drinking: Glass of house red wine
The Incentive: Cheap pies that taste good
Wallet Damage: $4 wine + $5 pizza = $9

This article was originally published in 5280 March 2009.
Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner is a Denver-based writer and the former Articles Editor for 5280.