Denver pub The Irish Snug closes after nearly 18 years on East Colfax

One of Denver’s few remaining Irish pubs, the Irish Snug, has closed for good. The Snug shuttered this week, about a month shy of its 18-year anniversary.

“When you excitedly open your restaurant, you don’t typically think about the day you’ll close, and March 6, 2022 would have made 18 years since we opened our doors,” owners announced Monday on the business’ Facebook page. “Unfortunately, the pandemic has proved to be too much for us between new variances of the virus, staffing shortages and, most of all, rising supply costs.”

Along with the Snug, Frank McLoughlin, together with his brother Jim, previously owned three more Irish pubs around Denver — Slattery’s at the Landmark, McLoughlin’s in the Central Platte Valley and Maggie Smith’s in Centennial.

“McLoughlin’s, when we closed it, we were overextended; the taxes killed us,” Frank McLoughlin told The Denver Post in 2019. “Slattery’s we sold. With Jim retiring, honestly, I didn’t want to be running three pubs.”

Maggie’s was last to go before the Snug.

By closing time, the Snug had become an East Colfax fixture. The pub held weekly music sessions for its regulars and hosted underground comedy shows that drew in new fans.

“The majority of our customers are middle-aged, and we see the millennials on Saturday and Sunday brunch,” McLoughlin said back in 2019. “I’m certainly doing a lot more listening these days, asking the millennials where it is they’re going. But there’s much more interest in the beer that’s brewed down the alley rather than the big known names.”

Nearly two dozen Irish pubs have closed around Denver since 2015, but drinkers can find a handful of them still pouring in the metro area. Scruffy Murphy’s, The Irish Rover and Nallen’s are a few Denver mainstays. Sheabeen has been serving Aurora since 1989, and Clancy’s is going strong in Wheat Ridge after nearly 50 years.

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