Denver Bar Association
September 2005
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Bar Review Gone Awry

by Greg Rawlings, Dick Ott

A Befuddled Docket Committee Searches for a Drink — and Each Other

by Greg Rawlings

Marshall Snider, Greg Rawlings, Paul Kennebeck and Suzanne Snider enjoy the view of a closed “Manny’s Underground” from the Celtic Tavern on Blake St.

Manny’s, we hardly knew ye. Okay, we don’t know ye at all. At least not “Manny’s Underground.”

I must admit, from the moment I saw our editor, Stacy, hastening in my direction as I parked directly in front of a LoDo bar, I knew something was amiss. You can’t conceivably park in front of any place you actually want to go in LoDo if it’s actually, well, open.

So, I was standing there after punching in my coins (exactly 15 dimes, Mr. Mayor), when I heard a familiar bellow from down the block. It was Marshall Snider, gesticulating madly. Stacy and I shot each other a quickie glance, and she went over to check out the problem. Manny’s was closed — padlocked, in fact. How are we supposed to review a bar that isn’t open?

This might be tough for normal humans, but most of us were highly trained legal professionals, so it became impossible.

Rather than admit defeat, we grabbed a table outside the Celtic Tavern (may I recommend the Scotch eggs), ordered some beverages and sunk deep into thought. Finally, we knew what had to happen. We would review Manny’s from the Celtic, snap a few photos and blame Dick Ott. Simple as that.

Please refer to the other review of “Manny’s” that accompanies this one to see how nothing ever is as “simple as that.” Oh, the shame of it all. Oh, well — I did like those Scotch eggs!


by Dick Ott

Running late to the Docket’s Bar Review, I was surprised when I walked into Manny’s Smokehouse and saw nary a “Docketeer” in sight. Having known my colleagues for years, I was puzzled by their absence.

Unfazed, I sidled up to the bar and ordered a New Castle from Gary Fielder, long-time criminal defense attorney and recent restaurateur. “I don’t want to hear how stressed you are,” he said. “I’ve got the two busiest jobs in the world — at the same time.”

Along with running Fielder & Gonzales, LLC, Gary recently opened Manny’s Smokehouse, a barbeque and blues joint, in early June of this year. Located at 2233 Larimer St., just two blocks from Coors field (not at 1836 Blake St., where my dense committee members were attempting to gather), Manny’s offers a varied menu that includes St. Louis Ribs, brisket, turkey legs, and chopped beef. I had the pulled pork sandwich, which was excellent.

My confusion surrounding the nonappearance of the Docket Committee dissipated quickly as “Tony Black Summit,” a funk band, started up. There is nothing like drinking a cold beer on a hot night and listening to great live music.

Manny’s has a full bar with live blues and jazz music every night. It has been open only two months, but the bill has already included the likes of Joe Bonner, Otis Taylor, Tommy Thomas, Hugh Regan, Tony Black, Danny Rhodes, Lynn Austin, and a host of local talent. 

The restaurant is open for lunch everyday, closing after the band wraps up at 2 a.m. “Don’t ask me how I do it,” says the sleep-deprived, yet relatively fresh-looking Fielder. “Manny’s not going to tell you what’s in his sauce … and I’m not going to tell you what’s in mine.”
Kidding aside, Fielder is not looking to quit the practice of law any time soon. “I’m really doing this for the love of music and feel so lucky to have Manny as my partner.”

Attorney Gary Fielder outside his new bar, “Manny’s Smokehouse,” 2233 Larimer St.

He continues, “Starting a restaurant, bar and night club is not the way to get rich quick. Hell, I’ve got to keep my firm alive just to pay the bills around this place.”

From the refurbished historic sign out front, to the 100-year-old hardwood floors, art deco bar, cool booth seating, nice (clean!) bathrooms, and outside patio — Manny’s gives the feel of clubs like those in Austin, Memphis, or Kansas City. The BBQ is hickory-smoked on location and the sides are hand-made. The staff is pleasant and upbeat. The music is great and the atmosphere is authentic blues. 

“Three hours a night, babe … from three to six,” yells Fielder on his way out the front door of the restaurant for a meeting.

“That’s when you’re here?” I asked.

“No, man, that’s when I sleep.”

Editor’s Note: Gary Fielder would like to offer DBA members a bonus for checking out Manny’s. Bring in the coupon on page 23 for a free beer or well drink.

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