Where one rock bar failed on South Broadway, another hopes to fare better. The Brutal Poodle is now open in the former Overland space at 1967 South Broadway. Like their rocker bar-owning predecessors (see Nathaniel Rateliff and the team behind the Hi-Dive), the new owners of The Brutal Poodle are musicians and bandmates from a Denver metalcore group called Son Survivor. They’re also 20-year veterans in the restaurant industry, with backgrounds at Illegal Pete’s, The Burrito Company, and Pizza Republica, among other restaurants.
“What we wanted to do is have that rock and metal atmosphere, and combine it with a gastropub feel,” says co-owner Wes Moralez of his new business. He’s hoping to attract artists and musicians as well as anyone else from the neighborhood.
The Poodle rocks a very different vibe from the Overland before it, starting with its menacing mascot, continuing with a new graffiti sign across the building exterior, and summed up in the slogan: “There goes the neighborhood.”
Inside, metal and punk rock memorabilia line the walls as well as cheeky custom poodle paintings. Fun takes on classic cocktails like the Lars Ulrich — “a tribute to heavy music’s biggest crybaby” — feature peach Ciroc, Cointreau, lime, and cranberry. The food menu also plays around with a beef bone broth, smoked brisket, and rice noodle pho; and chicken with jalapeño cheddar cornbread waffles.
So what’s with the “brutal poodle?” Owners Moralez and Ryan Oakes once joked about calling their nursery rhyme-covering side gig the Brutal Poodles, according to Westword. In their spare practice time, they would give children’s songs a death-metal twist; now they’ve channeled that energy into a bar and restaurant.
Moralez says he and Oakes also both recently lost their dads. They decided to open the business together as a tribute: “It’s just something that we kind of wanted to do in our fathers’ names,” he explains.
Status: The Brutal Poodle is now open daily at 1967 South Broadway. A full food menu is served from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and happy hour runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Find more information on the website.