A couple Friday nights ago my friend Jeff and I checked out Bruno's Saloon. Bruno's gave off a questionable vibe from the get-go, as it looked as if it was obviously closed for the evening. The sign out front was unlit, and there was only one car in the lot. We drove around the block to further inspect, and noticed the beer signs in the window burning brightly, so we decided to go in.
Bruno's was definitely open, but quiet as could be expected. The majority of the patrons were playing poker off in a side room, and we joined the two other customers at the bar. Although I'd seen more impressive poker matches in my friend Matt's basement, Bruno's obviously took things very seriously, as an ATM was available. An ATM is always an interesting inclusion in any bar. If there isn't some stripping, gambling, or some other questionable pursuit going on, what's the use? It was $1 Pabst Blue Ribbon/Miller High Life night, and I enjoy a High Life every now and again. I have no specific beef against PBR, though I usually tend to shy away considering its recent rise to popularity amongst the college set and the posh kids who like to feel like they are slumming it. That's enough for me to boot it off my list of bad beers. The juke box kicked out some lazy Pink Floyd toons, and the couple of tvs over the bar were showing round 35 of NBA playoff basketball and another Rockies baseball loss. Neither very interesting, but decent enough diversions. Apparently food was served, as a makeshift menu populated the wall across from us over the bar, though for $8 I wasn't about to order up some chicken fingers.
About two beers in, the scene at Bruno's began to change. One of the tvs was changed from basketball to wrestling, which turned out to be a fantastic choice. The feature match included an amazingly huge fella with a greasy mullet who didn't move too well, but did a wonderful job at giving his opponents an evil stare that sent them quivering. Doing the quivering were three much smaller amateurish guys who decided for some reason to bring their sister along to the match with them. Their sister just so happened to be in a wheelchair, and the three amigos thought for some reason that the best place for their sister to watch the match from was in the ring. Watching her gamely get out of her wheelchair and climb into the ring, only to be helped back into the wheelchair sitting in one corner was a piece of brilliance you can only hope to find on professional wrestling. As enthralling as wrestling was, watching the big guy chase the girl in the wheelchair around the ring, I couldn't help but notice the music in Bruno's begin to get amped up. Pink Floyd was replaced with some heavy metal, of a variety that well surpassed my limited knowledge (Ozzie Osbourne and one song by Motorhead) of the genre. The card game had broken up, and all the players gathered near the bar, clearly enjoying the change in ambiance. The icing on the cake was the appearance of a real live heavy metal chick, who came from somewhere in the woodwork. The music had her fired up, head banging, hair flailing. From the side and back, she was quite attractive, with her appropriately big blond hair. Upon further inspection, though, her missing front tooth, while a pleasant surprise, was a definite turnoff. She could definitely rock, though.
About that time, an old woman pushing a walker entered the bar. She chatted up the bartender and the people at the other end of the bar like a regular. We watched as she made her way around the bar and over to us. Attached to her walker was a large bag, and she pulled out a small vial from the bag and offered it to Jeff. Cologne of some variety. Looked to be homemade. The stuff couldn't be any worse than a dose of Brut, but we both declined nonetheless. Not wanting to leave her empty handed, I offered to buy her a beer. She shook her head.
'Don't need no beer, but I'll take the money.' Well played, I conceded. Good thing it was dollar draft night.
Our evening was over at that point, and the tab came. 8 bucks. Nine if you count my donation to the panhandler. Bruno's Saloon won't be tops on my list of bars to return to in the near future, but for a full evening of drinking and entertainment to boot, eight dollars is going to be hard to beat.
If you prefer shopping for your cheap cologne while rocking, or you still pine for that chick from the Whitesnake videos, check out Bruno's Saloon. Bruno's has a website!
Bruno's is located at 8501 E. Colfax in Denver. Keep your eyes peeled if you go at night.