After our late-May snowstorm (what the actual fluff?), we need a drink. Thank dog summer’s around the corner, when weekend ski trips are replaced with laid-back afternoons in the Mile High City. Ready to leash up the pup and do some people-watching? Here are some of our fave dog-friendly Colorado patios.
Recess Beer Garden, Denver
If the word “recess” doesn’t make you think of a round of kickball between math and science, did you even go to elementary school? Just like those blissful afternoon breaks in fifth grade, Recess Beer Garden is like a mini-escape in the middle of Denver, where the beer is always cold and the welcome always warm. Dogs are invited to the patio all day Sunday through Thursday, and until 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, but the owners don’t just talk the pup-lovin’ talk—they walk the walk, hosting events like Puppy Love, a gathering of single humans and their pooches on Valentine’s Day, and the upcoming Puppies and Brunch on June 8. A portion of ticket sales benefits MaxFund Animal Shelter, which will be providing pups for snuggles and adoption (paw-lease leave your own pups at home for this pawticular event).
Lazy Dog, Aurora
Despite the name, this restaurant and bar is anything but lazy. Come summertime, it’s a barkin’ place for Denver dogs of all shapes and sizes to take over the patio, where complimentary bowls of water flow freely. While you’re noshing on a burger, make sure to order your pup a hamburger patty or chicken breast from the dog menu—then both of you can take a lap around Southlands to burn off the extra cals.
Forest Room 5, Denver
Fleeing to the mountains on a whim is paw-viously a major perk of living in Denver, but if you can’t get out of dog—er, dodge—for the weekend, we’ve found the next best thing: Forest Room 5. An outdoor patio complete with wood log seating, towering trees, and a roaring fire pit makes you feel like you’re camping in the great outdogs. You’ll love the quintessentially Colorado food (elk sliders, anyone?), and Fido can pretend he’s looking for wildlife. A sweet nightcap awaits across the street at Three Dogs Bakery, where treats like Blueberry Paw Pies, Dogo Tacos, Mar’GRR’ita Pupcakes, and Bulldog Bars will have your pup saying Oh. My. Dog.
Pub Dog, Colorado Springs
The 1.5-hour drive south is worth it fur a day romping around the state’s first pupproved eatery and off-leash area. Dogs are welcome inside year-round, but the patio is where it’s at during the warmer months, when Pub Dog opens its 1,300-square-foot patio and 3,000-square-foot fenced-in green space for supervised socializing, boozy bevvies, and a menu of treats for two- and four-legged patrons that’s pretty doggone amazing. (Paws up: It also hosts private events!) Make a day trip out of it and stop by Bear Creek Dog Park’s 25 acres of land, creek, and agility course. We promise your pooped pooch will sleep the entire way back to Denver.
Watering Bowl, Denver
If you’re a Colorado canine, the place to sniff and be sniffed is this dog-park-meets-pub, where a puppy pool, 7,000 square feet of fenced-in green turf, and two dog-friendly patios are just the beginning of a howling good time. Ping-pong tables, a jukebox, and TVs are on tap for the humans, as are 50-plus (yup, we counted) draft, bottled, and canned brews that can stand up to the sizzling summer heat. For the love of dog, don’t miss Monday-night Yappy Hours from 4 to 6 p.m.
What are your fave patios in Colorado? Bark at us in the comments.