The Meadowlark Bar: Denver's Corner Catacomb Hot Spot

By: Zach Dahmen

I explored the awesome catacomb-like tomb that is The Meadowlark Bar. 

Stoned. Photo Credit:   The Sundance Kid    

Stoned. Photo Credit: The Sundance Kid

On a corner in Denver’s Ballpark Neighborhood stands a best kept musical secret: the Meadowlark Bar. I follow the subterranean stares into a stonewalled intimate bar. The local art hanging on the stone and the dim lighting immediately create warmth to the bar, which is deceptively vacant from the outside looking in. The narrow room leads to a small stage bathed in warm light.

WA Bricked. Photo Credit:   Zach Dahmen    

WA Bricked. Photo Credit: Zach Dahmen

This night has two of Boulder’s favorite bands taking the stage: Whiskey Autumn and Augustus. I get to the venue early as the bands are setting up for the evening. The horseshoe-shaped bar serves a steady stream of customers coming in for happy hour and lazy conversations. I make my way to the back staircase that leads to an outdoor patio. The open-aired space stands in stark contrast to the catacombs-like bar. I sit in smoky conversation with friends, taking in the Denver evening.

Horseshoe Show. Photo Credit:   Alison Lentz  

Horseshoe Show. Photo Credit: Alison Lentz

Augustus starts out the night as the bar fills and crowds towards the stage. Their bluesy set soon captures everyone’s attention. Acoustically, the venue is shallow but the stone walls create a resonating sound that is bold, while the small stage creates intimacy with the performers. The room has an organic feel. You get the vibe that the Meadowlark is a space that has taken shape through those who frequent it. With mounted deer heads adorning two separate walls, this place definitely has a feel all its own.

Local Art. Photo Credit:   Karma Leigh

Local Art. Photo Credit: Karma Leigh

As the night climbs on, Whiskey Autumn begins their set with three-part poppy harmonies, keeping the bar dancing. The crowd wanes as the AM appears, but the energy stays consistent. Things wind down with a couple of encores; some half finished drinks. Walking out bathed in street light, I spy a taco truck outside and think about the next time I’ll be visiting this “true king of a bar in the Queen City of the Plains.”

To learn about upcoming music or happy hour specials, check out the Meadowlark Bar here.


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Special thanks to Hillary, for the drinks.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.