Growing up just down Colorado Boulevard from Glendale, when it was mostly fields of cow patties, identical twin brothers Dean and Dale Peterson often rode their bikes by the local dairy that would one day be the home of The Bull & Bush Pub and Brewery. In 1971, casting aside their stockbroker careers to become the bellwether personalities of the Denver restaurant industry in the 70s and 80s, the brothers built the Bull & Bush to kick start a list of successful restaurants.
A fact finding trip to the English countryside provided the Petersons with the concept of a pub modeled after the original Bull & Bush, a British pub located in Hampstead Heath near London that dates back to 1645. They spared no expense bringing back original artifacts and materials to give the restaurant an authentic feel… right down to the now warped copper top bar that still holds up cold beers, delicious food and regular patrons today.
The Bull & Bush opened its doors and soon found itself in the middle of Glendale’s heyday. Long before LoDo attracted the young socialite crowd, Glendale was rocking with the Denver party crowd and it wasn’t uncommon to see a line of people outside eagerly waiting to get through the Bull & Bush front door and into the action. Musical acts, friendly bartenders and the area’s first dart rooms entertained the crowds. Not long after the beer started flowing, two satellite dishes were placed on the roof, bringing in sporting events from around the world and creating the nation’s first “Sports Bar.”
Thanks to their sharp instincts, dedication and, above all, the “everybody’s welcome” culture that the Petersons inserted into the Bull & Bush surroundings, the bar still thrives with regular visitors of all ages. Glendale may have gone through several personality changes over the last 39 years, but everyone can always count on their neighborhood pub to remain the relaxed and friendly haven they’d grown to love.
While folks who have visited the Bull & Bush regularly for 40+ years may swear it is exactly the same as the first time they set foot in their favorite local watering hole, a few changes have been made along the way. A new generation of Petersons, Dale’s sons David and Erik, now run the show. Armed with the knowledge gained growing up watching their often-celebrated and locally famous father and uncle, David and Erik have continued the legacy by creating major expansions to the business.
A patio was added to provide enjoyable outdoor dining in the crisp Colorado climate and there have been a few additions to the full menu of tasty dishes carefully assembled in Rigo’s kitchen. On occasion, you may even see the Bull & Bush 1968 Cadillac limo in the restaurant parking lot.
In the mid-90s, the brothers had the game-changing idea to build a brewery adjacent to the restaurant. Since brewing its first batch on New Year’s Day of 1997, the Bull & Bush brewing operation has become world renowned for its great tasting and innovative creations. Master Brewer Gabe Moline’s brews have earned multiple accolades including the Best Beer in a Brewpub award in Westword’s Best of Denver, multiple awards at the annual Denver-hosted Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and most recently the Bull and Bush’s “MAN BEER” was given the highest honor, a Gold award, at the World Beer Cup – the world’s largest commercial beer competition.
This year, the brewery entered an exciting new chapter... Bull & Bush has officially gone retail! With the addition of a world-class bottling line, Bull & Bush Brewery hand-crafted ales are now mobile, available in bottles at the restaurant and select retail shops around Denver. Staying true to their roots and their commitment to quality versus quantity, distribution will remain limited to Colorado.
But most of all it’s you, the loyal customers, that have made The Bull & Bush one of Colorado’s most revered landmarks. As Dale once put it, “This is what it’s all about if you’re in the tavern business. Fresh beer, the music, the camaraderie and friendship. Most restaurants, you might go in there once a year. Here you come in once a month, once a week… even once a day.”
We look forward to continuing the tradition for generations to come. Thank you for being a part of our story and The Granddaddy of Denver Watering Holes!
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