Author: Cassandra Whelihan
Consider the Boondock Saints taking on John Wayne and the result is Lucky Joeâ€™s. Opening its doors to the public in Old Town Square Aug. 3, 1995, Lucky Joeâ€™s Sidewalk Saloon has been pulling in patrons for 17 years now.
Aside from the endless supply of peanuts, what is the drive behind why students seem to be flocking here? After all, a bottled beer tastes the same everywhere, so what is making it more pleasurable at Lucky’s?
After a thorough investigation, the unanimous answer is the atmosphere.
â€œI like the live music and low key feel. Itâ€™s not your stereotypical bar, itâ€™s got some character,â€ CSU graduate Paul Hladick said.
According to co-owner Joe Vader, the simple acoustic adds undertones of a ski bar to the atmosphere. The live music consists of everything from the old Doors and Rolling Stones to unique takes on current hits.
A melting pot of sorts, the bar draws in an eclectic crowd.
â€œI love Irish bars. It feels good here. There is something about this place,â€ Fort Collins resident Michael Bauer said. â€œThereâ€™s prompt service and the wait staff is good on the patio, too.â€
The staff is recognized as a large reason for the high return rate. The welcoming employees and the scene put people at ease and ready to have a hoot.
â€œItâ€™s the little things like opening doors and taking pride in absolutely every drink we serve. Itâ€™s all about customer service. We want people to come back,â€ said Kevin Levad, manager and part owner of Luckys. â€œJust this Sunday we were talking about what we could do to make the experience better.â€
Not only does putting customers first and making their experience enjoyable resonate with the employees, but they also seem to love Lucky’s just as much as the returning clientele.
â€œIf I wasnâ€™t working here, Iâ€™d be drinking here,â€ said Dan Kleinholz, a doorman at Lucky Joe’s.
The staff coincide that it is a great place to work.
â€œI work with the best staff in the entire world. If I wasnâ€™t working with them, Iâ€™d still want to be hanging out with them. Our bosses are stellar, great people to work for. I love it here,â€ bartender Kenley Bonner said.
Seniors to the bartending lifestyle, owners Dan Kerig and Joe Vader have worked hard to make a difference and treat customers like family.
â€œWe are extremely happy of the support weâ€™ve had. We work hard to make people feel comfortable here,â€ Vader said.
So while peanuts are one thing, the combination of live music, great people and hardworking staff emanates a good time. If youâ€™re lucky, you might just get to see the bartenders throwing bottles to one another and successfully catching them like a scene from Coyote Ugly.
The crowd is what makes this bar and includes everything from motley crews of college students to wedding after-parties. Turns out this bar is not exclusive; itâ€™s all-inclusive.
So head on down to Lucky Joeâ€™s and give it that good old college try. After all, there is never a cover charge.