Thirsty Lion Gastropub Offers a Welcoming Environment for Sports Fans and Non-Fans Alike
The Thirsty Lion Gastropub proved quite a hit when it arrived in 2014. It was the first of the new Union Station restaurants to open, and it has been popular ever since. While its neighboring establishments have been somewhat tiny and exclusive, the Thirsty Lion is expansive and inclusive. There is something for everyone here. Just ask General Manager, Randy Strothers.
“I like to describe it as a great place for adults,” he says. “We have TVs, but we’re not a sports bar. There are no bouncers, no cover charges. It's not a typical LoDo bar. It’s comfortable.” The restaurant, which has 100 tables if you include the patio, can hold some 250 people, yet never feels crowded. The booths and high top tables around the perimeter provide plenty of privacy for those who need it while long tables in the middle are made for socializing.
The menu at Thirsty Lion is an eclectic mix of American, Asian, and European flavors. Everything in the kitchen is from scratch and made-to-order. The drink menu mirrors the kitchen in variety and also uses house-made ingredients and fresh squeezed juices. Happy hour is the best time to sample from the menu. That’s because the Thirsty Lion offers two happy hours seven days a week, afternoons from 3 to 6 PM and late night from 9:30 PM to midnight.
The happy hour menu offers $4 featured pints of the day, house margaritas, well drinks, and select wines by the glass. Not interested in the Pint of the Day? The bar has 52 taps, so your palate is bound to find something to enjoy. The food menu is a mini-version of the regular menu, worldly, eclectic, and full of flavor. Prices range from $3.95 to $4.94 and $5.94, and although considered small plates, many of the dishes would easily feed two people. Start with the sautéed Garlic Sesame Edamame in a sweet soy glaze. Then spice things up with crispy Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders dipped in a three-peppercorn ranch dressing, or keep things simple with the Grilled Pear and Prosciutto Flatbread pizza. If you're looking to incorporate as much beer as possible into your happy hour, the Pulled Pork Sliders come with a Newcastle beer BBQ sauce.
The House Margarita is made with Pepe Lopez Tequila, lime juice, triple sec, agave nectar, and sweet and sour. The lime juice is fresh squeezed and the sweet and sour is house-made. What really makes this cocktail stand out, however, are the muddled limes in the glass giving it a big fruity burst of flavor.
The Thirsty Lion is conveniently located at Union Station on the corner of 17th and Wynkoop, across the street from the Wynkoop stop for the 16th Street Mall busses. The pub is three blocks from Coors Field and two blocks from the Light Rail station with trains to Pepsi Center and Sports Authority Field. A second Thirsty Lion Pub will open in Cherry Creek. Look for it in the spring.
Top photo via Thirsty Lion Gastropub, Food and drink photos by Carrie Dow
Tags: Beer, Cocktails, Food, Outdoor Seating, Spirits, Sports, Wine