East Colfax Favorite Irish Snug Closes After Nearly Two Decades of Service

Sitting quaintly on East Colfax, the Irish Snug has long been one of the coziest local spots to grab a cold pint or hardy Irish-inspired snack. The pub has also been a favorite among those looking for a boozy brunch spot or an exciting private event space. In the summers, its outdoor patio seating was a prime-time spot for people watching East Colfax while sipping on a tasty cocktail. On Jan. 23, however, after nearly 18 years of serving up booze and Irish-inspired grub to the people of Denver, the Irish Snug has permanently closed its doors.

Similar to many small or local businesses, hardships brought on by the pandemic forced the Irish Snug to shut down. As supply costs continue to rise and staffing continues to fall, keeping small businesses alive can be extremely challenging and, in many cases, impossible.

Warm fluffy pretzels with cheese for dipping, juicy burgers with fries and tasty cocktails were just a few of the delicious items on Irish Snug’s menu.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic has proved to be too much for us,” Ślan Abhaile said in a Facebook Statement on Jan. 24.

While the owners, staff and Irish Snug regulars are heartbroken by the loss, Abhaile’s statement expressed immense appreciation those closest to Irish Snug feel for the community that was built at 1201 E. Colfax.

People gather around Irish Snug’s bar to hang out and drink.

“Owning a restaurant is truly about the community you create, and we could not be more grateful for the one that adopted us as their second living room,” Abhaile added. “A lot of really meaningful connections between people happened in our establishment and that makes us the proudest.”

Although it is still unknown who will be the next establishment to occupy 1201 E. Colfax, one thing is for sure — whoever gets the chance to take over the space will have some big shoes to fill. Before Irish Snug made its mark in Capitol Hill, the property was home to the Crazy Horse Bar, an infamous burlesque bar featured in Clint Eastwood’s “Every Which Way but Loose.” From strip club to snug Irish bar, what comes next is yet to be announced. While the future for the historical spot is uncertain, it is clear Irish Snug will be missed by many.

“Thank you, Colfax, thank you Capitol Hill, and thank you Denver…we hope you miss us as much as we are going to miss you,” Abhaile said. 

All photos courtesy of Irish Snug on Facebook.