The Welcome Inn was one of those places I’d always been meaning to go to but had never managed to check out until recently. It’s on the edge of what many now call RiNo, but is still known by longtime regulars as the east side, and it’s a friendly and casual spot where you immediately feel right at home.
As I walked in with a friend from work on Labor Day, we were quickly hooked up with a round of beers by a woman who works in our office building and lives in the neighborhood. She told us that she presides over the pool tables at the bar by day and plays tunes under the name “DJ Lady O” by night on the weekends and at private parties; the best things about the Welcome Inn are the pool tables and the fact that customers are respectful and keep things peaceful, she added. On this particular day, she was just there to catch up with friends and play pool, so the speakers were blaring music from the jukebox, with tracks by various artists ranging from Fleetwood Mac to Notorious B.I.G.
The place was packed, with several folks by the two pool tables, a small crew out on the back patio, tables of friends and couples everywhere, and a pretty full complement of regulars filling the long bar top, where my friend and I squeezed in. The crowd skewed toward the older side, with ladies and gents that I would guess to be in their fifties, sixties and seventies, and was mostly white and Latino, which somewhat reflects the neighborhood itself. Or at least reflects the historical demographics of the area before RiNo became a thing and brought with it breweries and condos and a new infusion of transplants.
The atmosphere was cheerful and loud, as was the decor. The entire space…
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