Half a country and an ocean away from the public houses of Ireland, Jack Quinn’s is an establishment constructed as an ode to the traditional atmosphere of Irish pubs. These themed bars are notorious for their stereotypical form: dimly lit bars that are often too small, covered in four-leaf clover and Guinness signs from floor to ceiling. Jack Quinn’s wrangles at the bigger picture of pubs; they aren’t supposed to strive for a simple image, but rather for a destination to socially drink and enjoy the company of others.
However, Jack Quinn’s does not avoid the decorative aspects of the bar genre. Gentle lamps hang from the ceiling, coating the original wood and brick of the 133-year-old building in yellow tones. The building was originally a historic storefront. In its renovation, they used “100 percent imported Irish woodwork, stained glass, and decor” to compliment the original construction. Jerseys, tableware, empty bottles and tins cover the dark walnut-colored tables and bar detailing, creating an animated texture on the walls. It is similar to what I would expect an elderly yard sale to look like if the sale products were glued to walls, creating an aged homeliness to the space.
Jack Quinn’s is one of the only restaurant bars I’ve been to that has events every day of the week. On Monday nights you can stop by for Biskey Specials (a pint and a shot) at their weekly “Geeks Who Drink” trivia night, or if you want to earn that beer first, drop by on a Tuesday to partake in the Jack Quinn’s “Running Club” for discounts on Odell brews. Sunday and Thursday nights feature live Irish music, and Wednesday and Friday nights have other live music performances. Jack Quinn’s commitment to its entertainment is as invigorating as its array of drinks—which is pretty extensive.
Jack Quinn’s has imported beers from Ireland and the United Kingdom, Colorado beers, draft beer cocktails, their “Quinncoction” cocktails (including several different martinis), and colorful specialty shots. They boast an impressive whiskey and scotch menu, with both local and imported selections. There are different drink specials every night that line up with their events, including the most alluring one on Wednesday night—all whiskeys are half-priced while bands take the stage in the large dining room.
Harp Lager: The first thing I ordered was a Biskey with a Salty Finish, which is a shot of whiskey, a shot of pickle juice (which I probably won’t do again), and a pint of Harp. It’s a lager imported from Dublin, but that’s about as special as it gets. Harp is a light pale lager, so it has almost no bitterness. It’s more drinkable than cheaper beers, featuring subtle nutty and apple notes. If you normally enjoy the classic low-priced draft, this is a safe bet, especially when there is a deal on imported beers. Overall, it isn’t something to rave about, but it is a better chaser than pickle juice.
Mick Mule: This is Jack Quinn’s Irish twist on the Moscow mule, and a great rendition at that. In the Mick Mule, Jameson, bitters, ginger beer, and lime are the only ingredients, and the use of Jameson really changes the flavors. It’s a citrusy and smoky drink, with enough of a bite to remind you it is alcoholic. It is still as refreshing and bubbly as a Moscow Mule, but the Jameson brings a smooth and simple punch that I often feel is missing from the classic cocktail, in which I can’t taste the vodka.