By SETHWILSON GRAY
The Townhouse Sports Bar and Grill located in Manitou Springs is a liquor licensed cabin, showcasing a wood-wall and bar interior and mimicking the trees that rise around the building. This bar and grill are covered in quirky signs pointing in all directions, some hanging above the knick-knacks behind the counter, and of course, there are plenty of screens for sports games. They also have the “largest patio in Manitou” and extra seating in the back, next to a Ms. Pacman machine.
The Townhouse is more than a comfortable retreat from the cold nights of November—most nights, the room will be filled with music from local musicians, with happy hour leading up to the events during the weekdays. In a normal week, there is an Open Mic on Tuesdays, Karaoke on Thursdays, and Live Music on Fridays and Saturdays. For those that enjoy listening to other Coloradoans, all upcoming bands are listed on their website. But if you’d rather start your day at the Townhouse, they just started a Mimosa, Screwdriver, and Bloody Mary special in the morning.
While the Townhouse acts as more of a bar at night, they also have amazing food to go with your drinks. I suggest getting the classic hot wings. Although the popular order, according to a few people sitting at the bar, happens to be the soup of the day. As for a drink, you can choose from a solid list of local beers, or you could try D’Vine Wine—specialty wine from a Manitou Winery located just behind the downtown arcade.
Above all, the Townhouse is welcoming. Sports bars can be loud and impersonal, but the Townhouse is above that, and it produces a comfortable vibe to explore new drinks from a community right next to Colorado College. I’ve spent many days walking around Manitou, and the Townhouse is the closest I’ve gotten to a local feel in a tourist-driven city.
Strawberry White Zinfandel (from D’Vine Winery) — This is a sweet and light rosé wine that revolves around its unique strawberry flavor and strikingly dark red color. It is nearly translucent, like a red-film-filter, and is crisp and sugary. It smells like a jolly rancher, and nearly tastes like one, but manages to retain a refreshing hint of other berries. While I wouldn’t recommend it before or during a meal, it is a perfect desert wine. In addition to the Zinfandel, the Townhouse also serves D’Vine Wine’s Pinot Noir.
Bloody Mary — My waitress mentioned that for their Bloody Marys, they use a house-made mix and that they’re a bar favorite. Before, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Bloody Marys. Afterwards, I’m still not the biggest fan of Bloody Marys, but theirs are a step in the right direction. The tomato juice mix was quite fresh and smooth, with a citrus twist. I had the mild version and found the sprinkles of pepper to be enough of a kick on top of the tomato. As far as Bloody Marys go, this is the best I’ve had.
The Sweetheart — Interested in what cocktails were offered (which you can’t find on the menu), I asked the waitress if there were any interesting drinks they served. She mentioned the local favorite, called a Sweetheart, which was created by a local resident and became a popular cocktail for those stopping by. True to its name, the Sweetheart is sweet and tangy. It is a combination of Absolut Raspberry Vodka, Peach Schnapps, and various fruit juices over ice, leaving a small layer of foam on top. This pink cocktail leaves a tangle of fruity flavors on the tongue, with a revitalizing, but subtle, aftertaste. In total, it tastes like the tropical version of a Screwdriver, with a cherry on top.