On South Broadway about the Overland Park and Rosedale neighborhoods, things accept been in alteration lately, with new bars, restaurants and breweries like The Post Brewing Co., The Brutal Poodle and Morning Collective moving in. This allotment of boondocks alike saw the admission of a huge music festival, Grandoozy, in its aback backyard (aka Overland Golf Course) aftermost month. But there are affluence of old-faithful bubbler spots forth this stretch, too, and Gennaro’s Lounge, at 2598 South Broadway, is one of them.
Originally opened by the Gennaro ancestors in 1951, the bar carries on the traditions of addition Italian family, that of buyer Tonya Tiscanni, whose ancestors recipes are on the card and who will bless her ten-year ceremony as the buyer aing April.
Home-style Italian aliment is a highlight at Gennaro’s, which has a restaurant ancillary and a bar side, with two abstracted doors and a bank in between. I’ve been to Gennaro’s absolutely a few times with assorted accompany who live, assignment or contrarily adhere out in the area, and there never seems to be a accomplished lot activity on in the restaurant side; the lounge is about area all the activity happens.
On my aftermost cruise in on a Sunday afternoon, this ascertainment captivated true. The bar ancillary was abundantly full, with a accumulation of earlier gentlemen bubbler beers forth the axial bar and a few adolescent association accepting drinks and aliment at a bar table. I was affair a acquaintance who’s additionally a approved (as are her brothers); back I arrived, she was already affably chatting with the bartender, Christine, who asked afterwards my friend’s brothers — “the boys,” as she alleged them. It’s the array of abode area it seems absolutely accustomed that an agent would ask a approved how their family’s doing.
We accustomed during two-for-one blessed hour, alleged “happy seven” because it lasts seven hours every day, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Gennaro’s uses tokens to accumulate clue of your two-for-one abode wines, calm beers and able-bodied drinks, article I adulation because it’s a rarity, but a bright assurance of a acceptable adjacency bar. I cashed in a brace of chips larboard over from a antecedent appointment for some alloyed drinks, and my acquaintance went the beer route.
Happy hour comes complete with two-for-one alcohol tokens.
I was aloof athirst abundant that one of Gennaro’s acceptable Italian salads, layered with pepperoni, cheese and olives, acquainted like a bigger advantage than a massive calzone or sandwich. At times back I’ve been hungrier, I’ve enjoyed the pasta dishes and sandwiches, abnormally the eggplant parmesan, and my acquaintance is a fan of the broiled ziti. Other audience affirm by the pizza, admitting I’ve never approved it.
Bar rules: Make abiding your advantageous vegetables are accompanied by affluence of dressing, cheese, meat and booze.
Christine told us that Gennaro’s already hosted annoyance queens and applesauce musicians for entertainment, but these canicule aren’t absolutely so colorful. Tuesday nights are open-stage nights, and bands are appointed on weekends, including on Sundays during Texas Hold ’Em poker games. The bar throws an ceremony affair anniversary year, and at 67, it’s one of Denver’s longest-running anniversary celebrations of its kind. Gennaro’s is additionally a sponsor of the Colorado Wounded Vet Run and holds a annual golf clash to accession money for the organization.
On any accustomed day, you’ll acquisition adolescent adjacency newcomers, old-timers who accept been advancing for decades, and others, like us, who abatement about in the middle. It’s a amplitude that invites conversation, with a axial ellipsoidal bar amidst by affluence of bar stools for barter to accumulate ’round, and a few booths forth the walls for acceptable measure. A red, white and atramentous blush arrangement helps advance an atmosphere about amid best Italian restaurant, booth and late-night lounge, with decorations accompanying to music, beer and Italian aliment that ability be as old as the architecture itself or aloof advised to attending that way. Murals on the outside, one of the Rat Pack and addition of a woman sitting in a martini glass, abide the ’50s theme. And, of course, the neon “Gennaro’s Lounge” assurance is original, put in abode by the Gennaro family.
The sign, the lounge and the restaurant accept been able-bodied taken affliction of over the years, alike as new adornment and accoutrement accept been added in an attack to accumulate up with the times. But it’s bright that this abode isn’t aggravating to be annihilation it’s not: aloof aboveboard drinks, a card of archetypal Italian-American aliment (without too abounding absolute Italian words, clashing those at adherent counterparts) and a affable agents — all of which are abating in a adjacency where, as in abundant of Denver, change seems to be advancing a little too quickly.
Sarah is a contributor to Westword’s Aliment & Alcohol area and can be begin exploring Denver’s adjacency bars. She is additionally a apparition adventure and karaoke enthusiast. Despite not actuality from Colorado, Sarah and Denver accept been in a abiding accord and it seems like this one ability be for real.
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