Inside: The Front Porch
What’s in a name? Free drinks
Special to Metromix
March 27, 2008
Usually name alone is not enough to garner free drinks, unless it carries an appellation such as “Lord,” “Baron” or “Owner.” Not so at The Front Porch, where every month a calendar designates each day to a specific name, entitling the bearer to the royal treatment all night (that means open bar, genius). There are no televisions at this bar making the art of conversation a highly desired skill (a witty anecdote might just reward you with more than just a laugh.) Despite still being a bar in its relative infancy, with creative marketing tactics and a regular crowd, The Front Porch has managed to entrench itself firmly into the LoDo bar scene.
Drinks: The intent with The Front Porch was to create a drinking venue for those wishing to sip a martini or knock back a beer. There’s nothing on tap, but the fridges behind the bar stock a healthy selection of big name beers, Mexican cerveza and local micro-brews. The bottles-only policy adds to the urbane veneer, but also serves a more utilitarian function in ensuring the sometimes-fermented clientele won’t be spilling pints on other patrons.
Décor: Though called The Front Porch, “subterranean lounge” might be more apropos. Sunken below street level, the establishment is a bar/lounge hybrid with couches, earthy tones and softly flickering candles. There is a palpable Southern Gothic aura, which manifests itself though the shadowy lighting and the over sized pictures of cotton plants and plantation houses that adorn the walls. Don’t worry though, it’s purely postbellum.
Crowd: When the bar opens at around 5 p.m. during the week, the crowd usually consists of professionals looking to grab their post-work respite. On the first Tuesday of each month, a flip cup tournament brings in a younger crowd looking to prove their aptitude for alcohol infused games. Wednesdays can get crowded and rowdy as flip night ensures everyone has a fifty-fifty shot of getting each drink for free. The weekends see a young, attractive crowd looking to mingle and maybe more…
Sounds: Music plays a central roll in contributing to the chill vibe at The Front Porch. No grating top 40 or blinged-out hip-hop, just mellow beats from reggae and jam bands. On their website, there’s a photo page dedicated to Widespread Panic so you’ve got your Southern rock, but they do interweave some Phish into the play list, though it tends to be more Farmhouse than A Picture of Nectar. In the song “Paul and Silas,” former Phish frontman Trey Anastasio wonders if someone is a “prep school hippie” or a “hip school preppie,” never fully discerning the difference. Chances are you’ll be introduced to both at the Porch.
Insider tips: Add your name to the chalkboard to the left of the bar when you first visit. Then check the back page of The Onion to see the calendar and if your moniker has made the cut. Then drink and repeat. Also, get your best four to five person flip cup team together on Wednesdays for a chance to win free swag.
Service: The bar staff is extremely affable. Don’t be surprised if they help introduce you to some new companions.