By Caramie Petrowsky
There’s something about the first really warm spring days that make you crave a sunny patio, a cold drink and some good company. Thankfully Fort Collins has a plethora of options from which to choose. You could spend all summer patio hopping in pursuit of the holy grail.
Here are a few spots to get the patio party started …
OLD TOWN ESTABLISHMENTS
Sidle up to a specialty flight at this Old Town brewery that has a laid-back vibe. On hot summer days, this shady patio is the perfect spot to sip whatever strikes your fancy. With 18 taps from which to choose, your hardest decision will be narrowing it to six. Food trucks visit the taproom Thursday through Sunday. Plus, shuffleboard!
The two-sided patio at this charming Old Town brewpub is a must visit. From one side you can watch the hustle and bustle of Mountain Avenue or practice your people watching skills. If there’s a concert or special event happening, the patio, conveniently adjacent to Old Town Square is the place to hunker down with a tried-and-true Punjabi Pale Ale. The menu features hearty pub classics, vegetarian and gluten free options and lots of reasonably priced kid options.
The Mishawaka, 13714 Poudre Canyon Highway, Bellvue
While this iconic outdoor amphitheater isn’t technically in Fort Collins, it is entirely worth the trek. First, it’s the only patio around located in a stunning canyon. Watch the winding Poudre River just steps away as you relax and enjoy the views. The restaurant is open every day for lunch and dinner from mid May through mid September.
If you love rooftop patios and peering down at people on the street, Illegal Pete’s is your spot. Illegal Pete’s offers the most wide-open rooftop patio in town, and it comes equipped with its own bar up top.
The Mainline offers a rooftop patio in the middle of downtown Fort Collins. Chose from more than 30 (mostly-Colorado) beers on tap, or opt for a refreshing mule — there are four options from which to choose. The Eddy Mule, with lime juice, grapefruit bitters, ginger beer and grapefruit Deep Eddy vodka, is both refreshing and effective.
The newly relocated CB & Potts Restaurant and Taproom is located on Fort Collins Parkway, near the mall. Inside the restaurant Colorado State fans will appreciate the fun, historical memorabilia gracing the walls, as well as framed pictures of former Ram athletes. Dubbed the Potts Peak Patio, the rooftop bar boasts a full bar and a fireplace. Nosh on a legendary burger while you sip on a Hefeweizen, which took home gold at the 2013 Great American Beer Fest.
CLOSE TO CAMPUS
A treehouse isn’t the only thing that sets apart Avogadro’s sweeping, flower-filled back patio. It’s also open year round, so you can take advantage of the warmest winter days, too. Plus the large stage is often filled with talented musicians during the summer months. Like beer, live music is just better served up patio side.
The Boot Grill, 130 West Laurel, Unit B
The Boot Grill’s beautiful — and big — rooftop deck features a bar with four beers on tap and full menu service. Tall trees provide some shady areas perfect to hunker down with a cold beer or a cocktail on a hot summer day. With its close proximity to Colorado State University, you can see a few buildings on campus as well as the foothills in the distance.
Slated to open this spring, DC Oakes Brewhouse & Eatery is the first southeast Fort Collins brewery and will have three outdoor patios from which to choose. Enjoy beer brewed in house as well as suds from plenty of guest taps. Named after a historic Colorado logger and businessman, the eatery’s menu will feature updated American comfort classics.
Set inside an old gas station, otto PINT serves up signature pizzas with inventive ingredients (the sauce options alone tell the story: honey Sriracha, chevre cream, basil pesto and more). On warm days, the eatery’s walls open so the whole restaurant feels like a great patio. Plenty of picnic tables, cornhole, a grassy area where the kiddos can squeal and skip, these details and more add up to make otto PINT a great spot to grab a bite and relax in the sun.