• Kasia Broussalian

    Allegra Smith, bottom left, and Ana Nunes enjoy happy hour on Lazy Dog's rooftop on the Pearl Street Mall.

  • Cliff Grassmick

    From left, Dianne Sample, Emily Sample and Lucy Sample enjoy the view on the rooftop patio at Bácaro Venetian Taverna on Pearl Street.



BOULDER, Colo. –

The Boulder skies are alive with the sounds of cocktail shakers.

Now that the snow is — hopefully — behind us, the season for sipping in the dry air and warm sun has arrived. Well, with an occasional scattered rain shower.

That’s why the men and women behind Boulder’s open-air rooftop bars are prepping for the thirsty droves to start lining up for happy hour.

“Coloradans just love eating outdoors,” said Melissa Durovich, general manager of the Lazy Dog Sports Bar & Grill on the Pearl Street Mall. “Our rooftop really just becomes the prime seating once the weather is nice.

“People love our view of the Flatirons — our happy hour gets packed, for sure.”

Bácaro Venetian Taverna, on the west end of Pearl, recently made some green renovations to its rooftop patio.

Inese Smith, office manager for the Italian eatery, said the rooftop bar has been rid of all paper menus. Menus for various specials, happy hour items and small-plate dishes now are displayed on chalkboards around the upstairs patio.

“It’s important to us to keep up with the green trend,” Smith said. “Although it is more than just a trend. It is important for the restaurant to establish itself as an eco-friendly business.”

Alyssa Lundgren, a manager at the West End Tavern on Pearl Street, said she’s excited for the warm season, as the bar’s rooftop provides a “fun summer attitude.”

“We are so excited for summer,” Lundgren said. “We just got a brand new slushee machine.”

So, without further ado, here’s a guide to Boulder’s rooftop decks:


Where: 921 Pearl St., Boulder

Hours: 4-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday-Sunday

Info: www.bacaro.com, 303-444-4888

Scene: Inese Smith, a manager, said the customer base runs the gamut of “pretty much anybody.” The late-night scene is popular with University of Colorado students, she said.

Rooftop: A classy patio with bar seats, tables and barstools. Great view of the mountains. Seventy-five percent covered, with a row of tables in the sun.

Specials: 4-6:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday: $3 house wines, champagne, drafts, sangria, lemoncello; $6 double wells; $5 top-shelf martinis; $2 off cicchetti, $5 pizzas. 3-6:30 p.m. Friday–Sunday: $3 house wines, champagne, drafts, sangria, lemoncello; $6 double wells; $5 top-shelf martinis; $2 off cicchetti, $5 pizzas.


Where: 2860 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Sunday

Info: www.harpossportsgrill.com, 303-444-9464

Scene: A great neighborhood restaurant and bar. College students, sports enthusiasts and locals frequent the joint — and enjoy a large selection of local brews on tap.

Rooftop: A change from the crowded downtown scene; a smaller rooftop space with a handful of tables and a nice view of the Flatirons. Uncovered, but with umbrellas.

Specials: 3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday: $2.50 domestic pints; $3.50 microbrew pints; $3 well drinks; reduced prices on food.


Where: 1325 Broadway, Boulder

Hours: 11:30 a.m.-11:45 p.m. Monday-Sunday

Info: 303-413-0000

Scene: A student haven offering one big party on University Hill.

Rooftop: Best Boulder rooftop view of the Flatirons and plenty of tables, but fills up quickly. Big, strong and cheap drinks — we’re talking doubles and triples. Uncovered roof, but with umbrellas.

Specials: All day Monday-Sunday: $2 pints/$6 pitchers of PBR and Miller Lite; all other pints $2.50/$8 pitchers; Jim Beam/well drinks: $1.50 single shot, $3 doubles, $4.50 triples.


Where: 1346 Pearl St., Boulder

Hours: 4 p.m.-close Monday–Friday, 11 a.m.-close Saturday-Sunday

Info: www.thelazydog.com, 303-440-3355

Scene: Sports enthusiasts, students, tourists, locals, everyone, according to general manager Melissa Durovich.

Rooftop: Huge. Stunning views from downtown Boulder, seats more than any rooftop in town, plus bar seating, too. Great for large parties. Uncovered, but with umbrellas.

Specials: 3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday: $2 Coors Light, Bud and Bud Light drafts; $4 house wine and house margaritas; $3.50 premium wells; $2 food specials at bar; 45-cent wings.


Where: 1109 Walnut St., Boulder

Hours: 11 a.m.-close Monday-Saturday

Info: www.foundryboulder.com, 303-447-1803

Scene: For happy hour, the after-work crowd congregates, then transforms into one big college and singles party after the sun sets. Translation: rare elbow room.

Rooftop: A beautiful view. The open patio has a clear view of the mountains — and all of Boulder in general. Uncovered, but with umbrellas.

Specials: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday: $1 off tap beers and well drinks.


Where: 1101 Walnut St., Boulder

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday

Info: www.riograndemexican.com, 303-444-3690

Scene: Anyone who enjoys a delicious (albeit strong) margarita in the sun. But show up early for happy hour or you won’t get a seat.

Rooftop: Fairly new to the rooftop scene, and right next door to the New Foundry, the view is just as breathtaking. Uncovered, but with umbrellas.

Specials: 3-5 p.m. Monday-Sunday: $2 Corona/Corona Light, $5 margaritas, half-price quesadillas.


Where: 926 Pearl St., Boulder

Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Sunday

Info: www.thewestendtavern.com, 303-444-3535

Scene: Paul Myers, part-time manager, said the West End “caters to a vibe that is a little bit more chill, as opposed to a rowdy crowd.”

Rooftop: Live music, hermit-crab races, a back-end view of the Flatirons. Plenty of table and bar seating. Mainly covered, back portion open.

Specials: 3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10-11 p.m. Thursday-Saturday: $2 bottled beer; $3 drafts; $3 house wines; $3 margaritas; $3 cosmos; $3 well drinks; appetizers from $3-$6; $17.95 all-you-can-eat BBQ ribs.

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