In Denver, any dive bar with a Colfax Avenue address brings with it a huge amount of credibility, Colfax long serving as the city’s most, let’s say, colorful thoroughfares. PS Lounge may be the best among the Colfax dive bars and makes a strong case for best Denver dive bar, part of it owed to a simple but unique tradition of providing every woman who enters the bar a rose and every well-mannered visitor a shot. The shot turns out to be an Alabama Slammer and maybe not the strongest one at that, but the fact a Denver business still adheres to giving out anything free of charge is a dive bar miracle in a city that has seen rents, residents and pretention skyrocket in recent years.
Opened in the 1980s, the sign above the front door almost feels like it comes out of an old-school Batman television episode or maybe the opening credits of Laugh In. The illuminated, oblong shapes that spell out the name of the bar are set against an illuminated arrow pointing down to the blue awning that stretches from the front door. Inside, small booths run along one side of the Denver bar, a few booths and a long bar opposite. Photos of regulars throughout the years dot the walls in addition to other fading knick-knacks throughout the space.
Taking center stage is the dive bar’s jukebox, one that comes with a reputation for one of the remaining high quality, non-digital jukeboxes in the city. Owner Pete Siahamis has stuck to PS Lounge’s original formula despite recent improvements along Colfax Avenue that will inevitably knock on his door. The vibe, the carpet throughout, the dark brown wood paneling along the walls, the free shot and rose, all of it speaks to the committed authenticity of one of Denver’s must-visit dive bars.