Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ex-Pats open Abbey Tavern in Denver

Is it every Irishman’s secret dream to own a Pub? If the Irish pub scene in the Denver Boulder metro is an indicator you might think yes, as the majority of pubs are Irish owned and run.

This month you can add ex-Pats Glen Eastwood and Andrew Cudden to the list of Irish Pub owners when they open the Abbey Tavern at 5151 E. Colfax Avenue (303-321-5151).

Eastwood is no stranger to the bar business. Over the past decade in Denver, he has been a well-respected barman managing Casey’s Bistro & Pub and Fado Irish Pub. His transitions from pub manager to pub owner took a logical course. “I got into this business 11 years ago and found that it was something I really enjoyed, then I got to a point were I wanted my own place. Said Eastwood who added, “I drank in Irish pubs all my life and I have tried to build a pub that reflects all that is fun and inviting in an Irish pub.” Cudden, on the other hand owns a painting business in Denver, but made it clear that owning a pub was one of his goals. “I set up Emerald Isle Irish Painting company back in ‘98 and I have worked very hard to get it to this point, the next step for me was to hopefully own an Irish pub in Denver that I could be proud of.”

It took a while for Eastwood and Cudden to find the right space in the right location a space and after a few false starts they came across a building that was to become the Abbey. “We are in the Parkhill neighborhood and we really felt like Parkhill would be a great location for the type of bar that we had planned to build.” The Abbey is also located off a bus route and will share a parking lot with Nuggs Gourmet Ice Cream Shop (opening in January). Most urban business owners would be happy enough to have free parking onsite, however, Eastwood is already planning alternative use for the parking lot over that special time in March. “The building had such character and it also had a parking lot that we could use for the likes of St Patrick’s day!”

The Abbey Tavern is named after a bar in the fishing village of Howth, Ireland. The inspiration to name it so, came by way of the 5 archways that are visible from Colfax Avenue. “From very early in the plans we decided these would make great tables to put in garage doors and create 6 top tables with 3 people sitting inside the pub and 3 people out on the patio,” said Eastwood.

The Abbey will open for happy hour at 4pm Monday to Friday and at 10am Saturday and Sunday serving Brunch until 3pm. They will have a full kitchen serving food until 10pm Sunday through Thursday and open midnight Friday and Saturday. The menu will offer the Irish staples including Irish breakfast, beef stew, fish & chips, etc., and also a wide variety of appetizers and sandwiches. The social lubricants and food enhancers from the bar will include the usual Irish favorites on tap – Guinness, Smithwicks and Mangers as well as a wide variety of local brews on tap and in a bottle. According to Eastman they will open the Abbey with deals to attract new customers. “We will be offering a very aggressive happy hour Monday to Friday 4-7pm with all well, wine and draft at $3 and all apps $5.95. We will also be offering an all-day everyday special of $4 liquor feature and $3 pint feature.”

In the New Year the sounds of live Irish acoustic music will be heard on Monday nights and Geeks Who Drink bar trivia will bring in some fun folks on Thursday nights. Of course there will be dart boards inside and corhole and giant jingo to play on the patio. According to Eastman you also can bring your own electronics to play or communicate. “All tables inside and on the patio have been fitted with power so you will have no problem powering up those tablets and smart phones,…The modern world!” And don’t worry about missing any Bronco games as the lads have you covered with the NFL package!

Both Eastman and Cudden are beaming with pride with their dream pub that has come to fruition and look forward to sharing it with friends and neighbors. “We have put a lot of time and effort creating what we hope is a warm and welcoming Irish pub. We looked around locally and at home and took all the things we have liked in other places and incorporated those things with our own ideas to make best use of such a unique space.” Enthused Eastman and Cudden added, “We also hired a local artist to build our back bar out of stone and really nice aged wood, we are so happy with the results and we think you will be too.”

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