Denver Restaurants: My Brother’s Bar

I walked by My Brother’s Bar in Denver’s South Platte neighborhood many a time and could not fathom what might be happening behind the white half-curtains. This Denver landmark has a symbol outside but no sign. I was, I confess, a bit intimidated. Would it be one of those bars where a bunch of paunchy men turned around in unison and squinted at me?

Now I’ve been there twice, both times with company, and I can confidently say that I wouldn’t mind going there by myself and taking a seat at the bar. Though I’m not sure how long I would stay, because the round-back chairs are nowhere near as comfortable as the atmosphere.

My Brother’s Bar, at 15th and Platte Street, just northwest of the South Platte River, is known for being “Denver’s oldest saloon still serving booze on the original site,” according to Tom Noel. An establishment called “Highland House” opened there in 1873 and served Denver’s Italian immigrant community. In the late 1800s, the neighborhood sometimes called Lower Highlands and sometimes called the Central Platte Valley (even though the river is named the South Platte) was sparsely settled. Since then, several different bars have come and gone in that corner building, and the neighborhood is one of Denver’s trendiest.

The bar has a reputation for making good burgers, so when Todd and I went there one Saturday, that’s what we ordered. I chose the jalapeno cream cheese burger, and Todd negotiated with the waitress over a chili cheeseburger. She said she could bring him a cheeseburger and a cup of chili, but not the two together. When she brought our order, we understood why: the burgers are served wrapped in paper rather than on a plate. Saves washing dishes, I guess.

Todd and I liked our burgers well enough, but many of the ingredients seemed to have come out of a can or a box: definitely the chili, and possibly the jalapenos in this cream cheese.

Although the onion rings and fries looked good, the rings were too crispy.Denver restaurants, Denver photos

I got a kick out of this condiments caddy, which has 2 sides so you can put it in the middle of a table and let people dress their burgers without fighting over the onions and relish.

If you want a great burger, I recommend Larkburger (there are locations in Boulder and Greenwood Village). If you want atmosphere, go to My Brother’s Bar, where the host says, “Have fun!” and the servers are mellow and Girl Scout Thin Mints are stacked along the front wall and up the stairs. The menu offers a variety of bar food, including vegetarian items. You can drink a glass from a small but quirky wine list or a craft beer such as Twisted Pine or Samurai or order from the full bar.

My Brother’s Bar is on the Beat Poetry Driving Tour of Denver.
My Brother's Bar on Urbanspoon

About Beth

I grew up in Kansas City and have lived in the Denver Metro area for 25 years as of 2012. I attended Georgetown University and the University of Colorado at Boulder. I like birding, hiking, scuba diving, gardening and ecological restoration, and trying out new wines and chocolate.
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11 Responses to Denver Restaurants: My Brother’s Bar

  1. Tracie says:

    I have been there several times but usually go for the drink specials and atmosphere. The food is good but not great.
    .-= Tracie´s last blog ..Early release =-.

  2. Beth Partin says:

    Yeah, that was my general impression, though there are other things I’d like to try.
    .-= Beth Partin´s last blog ..Denver Photos: Globeville Elyria Swansea, pt. I =-.

  3. I haven’t been to My Brother’s Bar in years (long before I started http://www.culinary-colorado.com), but in my memory, you don’t go there for the food. You go there for the patina and ambiance and the bar’s staying power in that location for such a long time.

  4. Connie Knippelmeyer says:

    The owner is a wonderful man and there almost every day.

  5. Beth Partin says:

    Claire and Connie, I’ll have to go back there sometime for drinks.

  6. Brit Miller says:

    I moved away from Denver 14 years ago but whenever we go back to visit our trip is not complete without a stop at My Brothers’ Bar. Jim K. is the the gracious host. It is like coming home to family.

  7. Kathy Brown says:

    Every time we go through or to Denver…my mouth waters in anticipation Of a deliciousmeal at My Brother’s Bar! The hardest part is trying to narrow down what we want to order! There are so many great choices. Love the warm and inviting atmosphere, and the people there, too.

  8. Beth Partin says:

    Brit and Cathy, thanks for commenting.

  9. Pat Dimond says:

    I’ve been to “Brothers” several times and have never been disappointed! I go for the simple hamburger and it always reminds me of the burgers from my childhood. Hot and juicy, even though I prefer mine well done. And, I like my onions rings crispy so I have no complaints there. But, even better than the food is the hospitality given by owner, Jim K. to every patron that walks through the door. His smile is worth the price of the meal anytime!

  10. Beth Partin says:

    Pat, now you’ve made me want to go back there!

  11. MORTEZA AMINI ( MORRY) says:

    My Brothers Bar is the best and no one can compete with it.Hi Jim, you might remember me which used to work there with Jonney and Reza . You are always in my mind .I wish you a very wonderful life and God bless you. Long live to JCB.

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