Denver Bar Association
October 2000
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Ain't No Sting at The Hornet

Food mediocre, atmosphere trendy; at least it's not LoDo.

by Docket Committee

The Hornet, at 82 Broadway, is a smoky joint filled with tatooed clientele, cops, and the post- and pre-movie crowd from the Mayan Theater, which is a block north. In other words, it is a fine place to waste some time.

A major high point of the place is a lack of yuppies and the other bland, aimless scum in suits, probably kept out by the locale and the smoke.

Broadway is gentrifying fast, but this stretch should have a couple more years of relative cooldom before the boring people take over. Another point is that The Hornet is one of the better people-watching spots on the ruthlessly autre Broadway corridor.

Local scribe, wit and man about town Mike Stone no longer offices above the bar, but local death penalty adversary and ace lawyer David Lane and criminal defense whiz Michael Root did have a table full of admirers there the night the Docket staff deigned to pay a brief visit.

Plus, it's always fun to listen to cops eat at one table while crooks plan escapades at another.

The waitresses smile like they hate you and the world, and should be tipped largely--to help them pay for more elaborate tattoos, if nothing else.

The pool table is a wreck and one should use it often. The barkeeps actually build a Guinness, rather than merely pour one. They have a domestic brew happy hour for $1.

Everything takes too long and nobody cares. The food is, of course, mediocre, and has gone downhill of late, although the Samosas (stuffed Indian pastries) don't make bad bar food. In another place, these might be seen as bad points; here they take on the aura of a philosophy, perhaps a world-weary nihilism.

Some of us thought the place was a dive, but when compared to some bars on Colfax, The Hornet doesn't even fit into their category. The wall along Broadway is nothing but windows. The decor inside is warm, painted in golds and reds, with a great bar area and trendy fixtures, most notable the lamps hanging over the bar.

Bring an attitude, drink something potent and consider chain-smoking as you while away the minutes in The Hornet before a midnight showing of an art house classic at the Mayan Theater. You could certainly do worse--you could go to Lodo.

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