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A Thornton staple for over two decades, Joe Palooka's has all the trappings of a good neighborhood bar: cordial waitstaff, reasonably priced drafts, a clean spot to rest your elbows, and plenty of TVs for game-watching. The strip mall-situated hangout looks small from the outside but opens up once you're inside with plenty of seating. Whether you're at a high-top table with a pitcher or bellied up to the giant horseshoe bar with a pint, the bartenders are always friendly and attentive. Mostly a drinking and pool-playing spot, Palooka's keeps the bar food to a minimum, with daily happy hours serving up free popcorn and hot dogs straight from the rotary cooker. The tin roof-lined interior is dimly lit, and patrons looking to grab a smoke can do so on the bar's small front patio.
"You're not wearing your hat tonight," the bartender says to the guy who just walked in with a gal and sat next to me. "I don't think I've seen you in here without your hat on." And this guy doesn't even need a hat — he has a full head of hair.... More »
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