Incoming bombs shriek by, exploding with terrifying cracks and booms. You dive for cover in the gritty trench, gasping and wondering if you will live through the night, much less kiss your lover, or even drink another beer. And in that scary moment, your brain actually slows down and considers the seemingly arbitrary notion: Your Last Beer. Where would you have it? Let’s see…
Boulder is rich with microbreweries and restaurants well-armed to kill cotton mouth and pick-off hunger. With at least a dozen breweries and hundreds of bistros to choose from, competition is fierce…and consumers are the better for it. Competition breeds quality, and variety, if not lower prices. The point is: you have a choice. Despite the influx of several breweries, each offering great beer, more often than not, locals choose one of “the Suns,” and with good reason.
Kevin Daly introduced Mountain Sun during the early years of the (Bill) Clinton administration, then he opened Southern Sun a year after 9/11, and eventually…Under The Sun, whose location on Broadway is of the descriptive sort you can probably figure out.
Under The Sun is a large, upscale pub, with dark colors, a low ceiling and a fireplace, but with colossal windows and fat beams of sunshine slicing up the muted interior. The crowd is a mix of Boulder types; cyclists, beer geeks, ball caps, young families and a sprinkling of students and aging hipsters. The mood is festive and celebratory, but slightly more formal than other Sun spots. Reflecting that shift, the food is a notch or two more sophisticated. You’ll find things like grilled Scottish salmon and watercress, gnocchi with fennel pesto, and seasonal polenta with Hazel Dell mushrooms and goat cheese. Not your typical 7-11 grab n’ go fare.
So great beer, thoughtful delicious food and comfortable surroundings; yes, yes and yes. But…it’s the people that keep the troops coming back. All the servers help one another, in a sweet nod to Bernie Sander’s collectivism, so there are no territorial squabbles. Word has it that every server must work every station—including dish washing and cooking—in order to have empathy for co-workers, and it pays off. The employees seem to genuinely enjoy working there. Smiles, laughter and authentic joy abound, which rubs off on customers. The upmarket feel doesn’t seem to squelch that contagious good cheer.
So next time you are in a foxhole-like jam, and find yourself in South Boulder, you could do worse than to get a pint and bite with some friendly faces…like those at Under the Sun.