PS. Postscript. Defined as an afterward or an afterthought, something you forgot the first time around. That's a good descriptor of a dive bar, that forgotten spot that deserves to be come back to.
I first heard about The PS Lounge from my neighbor Bryan who works at National Jewish. He described it as a dirty little place where people he worked with like to go after work for cheap beverages and recommended that I check it out. Bryan understands my preferences in a tavern, as he has accompanied me on maiden voyages to Charlie's Silver Fox and to The Mozart Lounge, so I regarded his recommendation highly and made plans.
My little brother Nick joined me on my first time. We settled into a booth and ordered up a couple beers. The decor in the PS made it look kind of like someone's basement, circa 1982. Pictures plastered the walls, some of recent patrons and their antics, others that looked like shots of the cast of a European soap opera. A nice touch. Promptly, our beers arrived, along with juice glasses of what looked kind of like Tang. We had to ask our waitress. 'Free house shots from Pete, the owner,' she said nodding in the direction of an older surly looking gentleman standing by the bar. 'Everyone gets one with their first drink. It's an Alabama Slamma'. Free house shots, a very nice touch.
Pete turned out to be not so surly after all. He worked the room all night, commiserating with his happy patrons. Not only did he give out a free shot to everyone coming in the door, but he also gave out roses to each of the ladies. Meeting Pete also dispelled any thoughts of mine that the PS was owned by an english major with a minor in booze. Just some guy's initials.
Nick and I were starting to get comfortable when I noticed a plaque on the wall next to our booth. 'Best Dive Bar', awarded to The PS Lounge by some local publication. Pedigree. I groaned and sunk down in the booth. I felt like Sir Edmund Hillary summiting Everest and finding a sign posted there saying 'Future Home of Starbucks'.
I ceased pouting when a girl sat down next to me in the booth. She said that she was looking for somewhere to sit while waiting for a friend who was in the bathroom. Fair enough. The friend arrived and instead of proceeding to leave, he joined us as well. Normally I wouldn't be ok with this. These two were either going to ask us for money or they were super drunk and looking for someone to vomit on. I was wary. It turned out to be the complete opposite. They ended up being just two kids out having a good time and making plans to meet up with some other people for a birthday party. We had a few drinks, had fun chatting for awhile, until eventually they left. It was a totally random deal, but looking around I couldn't help but get the feeling that having an enjoyable chat with a couple of perfect strangers was par for the course at The PS.
The PS Lounge is not the best dive bar in Denver, as some would have you to believe. It's got the right location, a solidly shabby decor, but it lacks that special ambiance that prompts a 'Did that just happen?' It's more like the comfort food of dive bars - not the grade A fillet mignon, but the mash potatoes and gravy that are good enough that you have no trouble coming back time and time again. To that end, calling itself The PS Lounge is a misnomer. It's hardly an afterthought.
The PS Lounge is located at 3416 East Colfax. The first shot is on the house.