SoBo 151, at 151 South Broadway, is one of my longstanding favorites in Baker; it's an unpretentious and welcoming bar with a varied crowd and not one, but three excellent karaoke nights. Tasty Czech and American bar food — with bratwurst, goulash and schnitzel sharing the menu alongside wings, burgers and nachos — make the place as much of a restaurant as a bar. SoBo also serves brunch, which I've never had, but the menu options look promising. The drinks list is also more interesting than that of your average Denver bar, with various Czech and other European beers and liquors. I like the Czechvar beer or a shot of Becherovka, a Czech herbal liqueur that many at SoBo's refer to as the "Christmas shot" because it tastes like a delicious, boozy Christmas tree.
I have spent many a karaoke night at SoBo's, and was there recently on a Saturday night trying out new songs and also doing "Holding Out for a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler, one of my standbys on the karaoke mic. The karaoke crowd, and bar crowd in general, tends to be a mix of twenty- and thirty-somethings, with a few older gentlemen in the mix to guarantee that Frank Sinatra and bands like Deep Purple and Yes don't get forgotten. I once saw a group of bearded guys dressed in strikingly similar flannel shirts at the bar, but not because they were doing a lumberjack bar crawl — they were just dressed that way. To round things out at SoBo 151, you can often find a few older punk rockers, assorted hipsters and European soccer fans, often wearing jerseys of their favorite football clubs. This night was no different; the karaoke singers and spectators got things going while the primarily male pool sharks kept themselves busy in the back room at the pool tables. Some couples and small groups sat outside on the patio, so inside it wasn't too packed.
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WESTWORD: SoBo 151 Is Baker's Neighborhood Czech Bar
Offers Czech Food and Dive Bar Comfort
Posted: July 13, 2017 by SARAH MCGILL, WestWord
WESTWORD: Sobo 151 Offers Czech Food and Dive Bar Comfort
Posted: Sep. 30 2014 by Mark Antonation
October is a month of transition -- change defines the weather, the length of the days, the leaves in the trees. October is the month to dress a little warmer, grab a bigger beer and indulge in some hearty, traditional food. German food and beer seem appropriate even if Oktoberfest in Munich officially begins while the calendar still shows summer.
In Denver, German restaurants are scarce, but certain dishes follow culinary paths that cross international borders. For the next month (plus this last day of September), I'll be looking for schnitzel in its various forms. Many of the Slavic and German restaurants that serve variations on schnitzel populate the periphery of the city, but I'm starting near the center, at Sobo 151 Czech Bar and Grill, where the breaded cutlet also goes by its Czech name rízek.
Sobo 151 has a little of everything: karaoke two nights a week, live music on other nights,
Photo by Mark Antonation
billiards, sports -- especially hockey -- on TV, a reasonably sized list of Czech specialties on the menu. But there are also wings and green chile and quesadillas. Oh, and you can also get breakfast burritos and something called a dumpling scramble and a few other breakfast items on weekdays and a full brunch on weekends.
If you sit at the bar, the bartender may tell you about the daily specials, but don't look at the board when he's talking or he'll tell you to look at him when he's talking. I'm not here for the specials or the Den-Mex, though; I'm here for schnitzel and something foamy to wash it down. The kitchen offers a choice of pork or chicken; pork seems the obvious choice. I also throw in an order of potato pancakes, another international staple called bramboráky where Czech is spoken, but which are also served throughout German and Slavic countries. Sobo 151 serves them thin and soft, without much exterior crunch but with a ton of flavor from grated onion and garlic in the mix.
The schnitzel is big and filling and doesn't aspire to be more than breaded and fried pork. The tenderized cutlet could be a little more tender, the breading a little more evenly cooked. But it has good crunch and stands up well to the generous pour of Krusovice Cerne, a Czech dark lager (everything in the Czech Republic is a lager), which the the bartender says we can have for the happy-hour price if we can pronounce the name correctly. (It's happy hour, anyway, so he's not too particular.) He also strongly suggests to another customer to look happy during happy hour.
I can't quite decide if Sobo 151 qualifies as a dive bar, but it definitely has marks in its favor. It has that odd lighting that feels too dim and too bright at the same time; it has solo regulars who seem permanent as statues; it has a mishmash of decor accumulated over a couple of decades. Amy suggests letting the state of the bathrooms be the final arbiter, but I never venture in.
Sobo 151 is these things for sure: a sports bar, a music bar and an ethnic eatery. The space is comfortable enough for a grandmother treating her two grown sons to dinner, for a single woman to have a drink at the bar, for a bartender to half-jokingly correct a patron's etiquette. Another $4 pour of Krusovice Cerne will help me decide. It gets easier to pronounce after the first one, too.
Rant Lifestyle: Sobo 151 in the Top 10 Best Sports Bars in Denver!
Posted: 05/12/2014 by Michael Peckerar
You've got the Broncos, Rockies, Avalanche and the Rapids all making Denver a near-perfect sports town.
Since everyone in Denver loves things that are awesome, it only makes sense the Mile High City sports bars would be top-shelf. As chosen by local Yelp reviewers, Sobo 151 made it to the Top Ten!
Rant Lifestyle's Commentary:
There is a frightening shortage of good, solid hockey bars in this country. Consider your faith restored.
With their legendary Czech commitment to great beer, hearty grub and hockey, there's not a sour note in this entire joint. Take in an Avs game, chow down on their straight-up meat-and-potatoes fare, and get rowdy with some classic Pilsner brews.
The CBS Denver: Top Bars With Pool Tables In Denver
Posted: 02/20/2014 by Marian Tuin
If you are looking to add a little culture to your game, SOBO 151 has a corner on the market. The authentic Czech bar hosts international guests daily and provides authentic cuisine in addition to a pool room and a league of its own. With three bar-sized pool tables framed by TVs tuned into the latest sports event or game, this bar is a casual sports fan’s sanctuary. And once you work up an appetite, the menu features traditional Czech beer and food such as schnitzel, goulash and potato pancakes that can be washed down with Pilsner Urquell and Czechvar on draft or the recently added Krusovice (known as one of Czech Republic’s best beers). This one-of-a-kind bar and pool hall is a local treasure and among the best in Denver.
The Denver Post: Sports Bar, Czech Style
Posted: 06/11/2004 Updated: 11/15/2006 by Ricardo Baca
There's no logic in hitting Denver's premiere hockey bar the night after the Stanley Cup playoffs conclude. Unless you're me.
I can do without the testosterone wash and the sweaty, Speed Sticky sports-bar humidity. Even though the Avalanche weren't playing in the finals this year, I'm sure the scene at Sobo 151 Bar & Grill the night before was terrifying. A sea of Tampa Bay Lightning jerseys. That siren that sounds every time the puck hits net. That brand of male camaraderie that's never quite made sense to me.But if I were ever to make the switch and become a bona fide sports fan, Sobo (151 S. Broadway, 303-778-1560) would be my sports bar of choice. Why? Because it's a sports bar with a niche.
My beef with sports bars is the monotony of everything. This one may have 15 more TVs and that one may have better chicken wings, but what really sets them apart? They're all little more than generic wood troughs from which we drink, made all the more bland via the formatted programming of the game-of-the-day.But Sobo is central Denver's Czech bar, and the last time I was in a Czech sports bar was in Cesky Krumlov in south Bohemia.
The Czech flag hangs proudly atop its Broadway entrance, and the bar's south wall is graced with a careful sketch of Prague as seen from the Charles Bridge. Owner Filip Tomas is a proud Czech himself, and his flashy, well-liked bar (perched across the street from the new Skylark) will turn 2 in August.
Sure it has the sports bar mainstays - countless TVs and three pool tables and karaoke (Thursdays and Saturdays) and GoldenTee - but it also has Czech food (mmm, potato pancakes and kielbasa) and Czech drinks and even a massive Czech party on the last Saturday of every month.
So even in hockey-less months, or sports-less days if there is such a thing, Sobo still deserves a spot on your rotation.Funky: Don't forget a shot of Becherovka, a potent Czech spirit that never fails to rock your system.
Skunky: Avoid the Slivovice. It's harsher than absinthe without the payoff.
The Westword: Becherovka at Sobo 151
Posted: 07/30/2009 by Nancy Lavine
Back in college, while reading some novel set inPrague, I became obsessed with visiting that city. I finally managed to get there a few years ago, and I loved everything about it — except the food. While I enjoy pork, I don't enjoy it at every meal. And that was my experience in the Czech Republic: roast pork, pork goulash, pork schnitzel. On one menu I even saw pork-stuffed fried olives. Three days into my trip, I was eating nothing but apple strudel. So when some friends suggested dinner at Sobo 151, the Czech watering hole on Broadway, I was less than enthusiastic — until Sobo 151 introduced me to Becherovka. At first I wasn't sure what I was drinking, because my friend asked for two shots of "Santa Claus's blood." Amused, the bartender just looked at her, then grabbed the bottle of Becherovka and poured two shots ($5 each). After just a taste, I knew why the bartender was amused: Becherovka tastes like cinnamon-flavored rubbing alcohol. And while that sounds appalling, the taste grows on you, becoming more complex the more you drink. Think Fernet Branca or Jägermeister — in fact, Becherovka has a similar history to those two digestive cure-alls. A home remedy for arthritis, it was first produced commercially in 1807 as a medicinal tonic, flavored with aniseed, cinnamon and approximately 32 other herbs. And I can attest to its curative effects, because after a few shots, I felt nothing — and when a big plate of schnitzel arrived, even that seemed tasty. Hold the apple strudel; I'll have another Becherovka.
TripAdvisor: “A Surprise”
Posted: 11/16/2013 by
SOBO is a sports bar with three pool tables in the back. It has sidewalk seating during nice weather, this area is enclosed for adverse weather also. The inside is a mix of high tables and normal tables, bar and a long narrow bar with stool seating. The atmosphere is normal for a sports bar.
The first thing that is not normal is a mural of Prague's St. Charles bridge with the Castle in the background. There are also a couple of signs for beers from Prague. The menu or special board has some of the normal fare, but also includes a good range of Czech foods. The Fried Cheese Steak is to die for, served on a bed of home fries with a mustard sauce and a little shredded cucumber. The Garlic Cheese dip is also a very good opener. They also have a range of Czech beers on tap. I had a dark ale and loved it my companion had a very good Pilz.
Lots of free parking in the back. This place was recommended to me by two different people. The cost of the different meals are around $10.00 as an average.
Posted: 02/02/2014 by Robin P.
Hockey, hockey, hockey! All over the place.The crowd is a mix of people. The typical SoBo hipsters, old timers, sports fans, a mix of people. You will not be left out, my friend.The Czech food is pretty tasty. The kielbasa is delicious, and meant to be shared. Fills up the belly with all that delightfully seasoned meat stick. The chili cheese fries are decent for a Czech place, which is a surprise. Yes, I ordered chili cheese fries as at a Czech bar. I couldn't help it! They're quite cheesy, with big ole chunks of pork jammed in there. Yum. The bathroom is clean, but head to the ones in the back by the pool tables. The one in front is unisex, and just seems like you're on display when you go in and out.The service is always nice and hospitable. And drinks are cheap. I may not be a hockey fan or a Czech, but I reckon I like it here. Oh, and I may have become a slight trivia fiend because of this place. See you there on Friday. Try to step to this. Just try it.
Posted: 07/28/2013 by Nic Z.
Pretty authentic Czech food. Debated between 3 or 4 stars... I spend a considerable amount of time in the CR as most of my family lives there, and the food here definitely filled some of the voids of not having gramma's cooking in awhile. Of course, nothing could ever compare to the magic she makes happen in the most bare-bones kitchen, but Sobo tried.The bramboraky (potato pancakes appetizer) taste very close to the ones you can pick up at a stand in any Czech town square, but the garlic toast was bad; it came on regular French bread (like the 99cent baguette you buy at the supermarket)... That's not how we do it.For entrees, we had a schnitzel (got a good vote), kielbasa (also liked), and pepper chicken AKA kure na paprice. The problem I had with the chicken was that I really enjoyed it at first, and then I realized I knew exactly what it tasted like -- the kure na paprice mix that comes in a packet from Knorr. So disappointing. That's like going to an Italian restaurant who will cook you the best pasta, then tasting Heinz on your spaghetti. Bummer. But I did enjoy it before coming to that realization. :)Sobo has a very lively atmosphere, nice vibe - even if you're not a sports fanatic, and limited parking. I'd say it's worth a visit, especially for those not familiar with the cuisine. Take your tastebuds on a vacation.
Read more reviews for SOBO 151 on Yelp!