If you’ve ever visited the South, you already understand the magic that crawfish boils can bring. Here in Colorado, you can either ship in these shelled creatures for yourself or search high and low for a place that does it for you. During this season, the spotlight shines on Monkey Barrel Bar — a venue that is fit for the best boil in the business.
After successfully opening a rockabilly-themed bar in West Arvada with his family, Jimmy Nigg ventured to the Denver area to create his own independent concept. In the beginning, Monkey Barrel Bar followed a punk rock and craft beer theme. With Nintendo 64 in every booth, rotating Colorado beer options and live music, this spot became a hit quickly. “It kind of turned into a place where people my age were coming to just hang out. We hooked up Nintendos to the booths and people went crazy when they saw that they could come in and play Mario Cart for free and drink a local beer,” Nigg said.
When COVID-19 struck, more outdoor seating was needed. This gave Monkey Barrel Bar the opportunity to turn its parking lot into additional patio space. With its location conveniently placed right next to Chaffee Park, it quickly became a destination for people to safely mingle in an outdoor space and, of course, bring their dogs along with them. This ended up being a blessing in disguise when it came to crawfish boils. “Prior to the pandemic, these crawfish boils were getting so big that we actually had to start bringing in additional seating,” Nigg said.
Now with the extra patio space, all are welcome to the famous crawfish boil and craft beer event this Saturday. Monkey Barrel Bar works with Louisiana native, David Painter, to make these top-notch boils happen. Painter enjoyed traditional Cajun cuisine throughout his childhood and wanted to share this food and the community it brings with others. After solely planning crawfish boils in households, Nigg worked with Painter to successfully plan his first public boil ever. “He’s in it for the same reason I am. Crawfish is a way to bring people together,” Nigg said. Since then, Painter and Nigg have successfully hosted crawfish boils for the last eight years at Monkey Barrel Bar.
Colorado-based, musical extraordinaire, Hazel Miller will be present at the event and will bring the party from 1 to 4 p.m. If you’re a lover of jazz, blues, R&B and more, Miller is guaranteed to satisfy your ears. “The live music ends up complementing what is already going on. So, even people who don’t like crawfish can appreciate that there is great live music while hanging out with a big group of people. These events have been few and far between,” Nigg said.
The event will take place on Saturday, March 26 from 1 to 5 p.m. Although reserved tables are almost sold out already, there will be over 20 tables at the venue that are first come first serve. Crawfish is sold by the box and includes three pounds of crawfish, sausage, potatoes and corn for $30. All crawfish are shipped out the morning of the event and cooked fresh on site. Along with over 20 taps that highlight our local breweries, there will also be satellite bars set up outside featuring beer specials from Tivoli Brewing Company. For the ones who are not a fan of crawfish, Monkey Barrel Bar’s original menu is full of delicious choices as well. From cheeseburgers to chicken sandwiches — all will be satisfied. Come down to the Monkey Barrel Bar to experience great beer, fresh crawfish and some of the best live music in our state. This date is sure to please people of all ages while fostering some amazing community bonding.
Monkey Barrel Bar is located at 4401 Tejon St, Denver. The Crawfish Boil and Craft Beer event will take place from 1-5 p.m. The event is free to attend.