Based on where I go, which is basically Fort Collins, Loveland, and Longmont, Colorado. YMMV.
You parents can move along right now. This is NOT a list of “child-friendly” bars to take your kids. Quite the opposite. As a matter of fact, if you are taking your kids to a bar, you need to hand in your parent card, right now. You suck, and I hate you.
For the rest of you, read on:
The Sports Station – I don’t see kids in the bar side often, but when I do, 99.9% of the time, they are quiet and well behaved. The bartenders don’t put up with bullshit on the bar side, regardless of age, so in general this is a nice, friendly neighborhood bar that does not try to cater to the Chuck E Cheese set. Plus, Dave and Beemer are awesome bartenders and this is clearly the neighborhood hangout (and yes, this is MY hangout – I’m sure you guessed that by the fact that I know the bartenders by name). So color me biased, but honestly, if there were annoying kids in here, I would NOT be in here. And most of you who know me know my low tolerance for that kind of bullshit.
Pourhouse – You’ll get a caterwauling kid on the restaurant side from time to time (thanks, asshole parents, for not taking the kid outside – we all LOVE to hear your kid screaming at the top of its lungs) but so far I have NEVER seen a kid on the bar side. Granted, it’s all one big room, but generally kids are few and far between here. Plus, the bartenders are a riot.
Generations – An excellent martini bar. So far (and it hasn’t been open long, so FINGERS CROSSED) I have not seen a child here. It’s not exactly a child-friendly place (THANK GOD). And, they just opened their patio, so that is totally full of win. Not too many patios in Loveland. As a matter of fact, I think the Sports Station is the only other bar in Loveland that has a patio (and an excellent one, until the train goes by!).
Henry’s – Allows kids to belly up to the bar. I sit at the bar to get AWAY from the kids, and they let them pull up the stool next to me. Not only allowed, but encouraged, with a hearty “Oh, hi honey, what will you have?” as if they are a local. This has happened to me twice now, and I will never, EVER, spend another dime in this bar as long as this is allowed. Which is too bad, as the food and service is excellent. But I cannot abide sitting at the bar next to little Trendleigh. That is wrong on so many levels I cannot even start, because I’ll die before I’m done ranting about it. Too bad for you, Henry’s, because I’m a really good tipper.
Next Door Food and Drink – EVERY freaking time I’ve been in here some asshole has a screaming kid in tow. I find this amazing, based on their menu and prices. Well, maybe not. Most of these caterwauling brats are pre-solid food. Apparently, their parents are pre-common sense. I’m not too keen on going here again, which is a shame, because (AGAIN!) I’m a good tipper and I love, love, LOVE their pork belly bites. Goddamn crap parents.
FORT COLLINS, CO
Mulligans – BEST REUBENS EVER! Kids do tend to be on the restaurant side, but the bar side seems to be safe. I’ve never had a screaming running kid on the bar side. Go to the restaurant side, you’re on your own. It’s generally not bad but if you pick the wrong day you’re totally screwed. And did I mention, BEST REUBENS EVER??? Trust me, I’m a Reuben connoisseur.
And, now I’m hungry.
Austin’s – I can’t speak for the downtown location, but the one on Harmony is awesome. The bar side is to the left of the door (HUGE restaurant to the right, but the dumb parents can’t go THERE, can they?) and it has several small tables to sit at as well as the actual bar. I was sitting at the bar reading and some dumbass mother tried to belly her seven-year-old up to the bar, and the bartender shook his head, pointed to the tables, and told her that no, her pweshious could not sit at the bar, and she should to go over there.
I could have kissed him. I SHOULD have kissed him. He is my hero. And if this is SOP for this place, I need to go there more often. That was awesome wrapped in excellent topped with supercool.
Island Grill – OMFG, if you want to be drinking in a daycare, this place is for you. Which is sad, because at the time I frequented this place, not so long ago, it was within walking distance to my house. But every freaking time I went in this place there was a caterwauling, obnoxious child (or, God forbid, CHILDREN) running all over the place. A couple of the worst examples were the three or four kids playing hide and seek in the bar (NOT KIDDING) and the two super pweshious snowflakes tearing the straw off the walls (beach themed bar) and turning the neon signs in the window on and off. Not only was this allowed, but a friend of mine tried to complain and was basically told they’d rather have the brats than the good tippers. Well, there you go. Thanks for the warning. Too bad, too. It was a really nice bar.
Mike O’Shays – I’ve seen kids, but since this place is basically always packed to the gills they can’t run around. I’ve never had to give the stink eye to anyone, either. And, they have an Atkins-friendly menu, so I love them for that. So far, so good.
Oskar Blues – Jesus Christ on a jumped-up cracker, do NOT EVER sit on the patio if you want to remain sane. Child friendly does not even begin to cover it. It’s a shame, too, as the patio is awesome. Problem is, they put in a “volleyball pit” which has become a giant sandbox. For the kids, yanno. Because bars are an EXCELLENT place to let your kids play. I LOVE their habanero wings, but I have to constantly weigh that against the entire bar being littered with screaming, crying, running, and shrieking kids. I really do love the wings, so I go there about once a month. I’d go more often, but I can’t deal with the daycare atmosphere. Too bad, OB. Again, I’m a good tipper. You lose.
Pumphouse – Love their hot wings, hate their “kids rule the world” policy. They have a defined bar and restaurant side, and yet they consistently allow all kinds of crazy-ass behavior by kids on the bar side. I blame the fact that they installed video games over there. I have seen the WORST crap parent behavior there – things I would not believe existed. They have an awesome back room with leather chairs/couches and tvs, but the air hockey table is right by it, and the “parents” think it’s an extension of their living room. I refuse to sit back there anymore, after being babystalked and having to deal with the shittiest parenting I have ever seen. We sit at the bar or we don’t go. Period. It’s a shame. Again, WE ARE GOOD TIPPERS. Clearly you’d prefer screaming, running kids to good tips. Thanks for the heads up.
Anyone got anything to add to the list? Post in the comments below.