The Rock Restaurant & Bar on Smoky Hill Rd

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cropped-Rock_LogoLooking for a great local bar to make your own in the Denver area? Then check out The Rock Restaurant and Bar on Smoky Hill Road in Aurora, CO. It’s a great local place where you can take the whole family!

The Rock is located right near Southlands Outdoor Mall right off the E-470. It’s on the corner of Smoky Hill Road and Ponderosa Trail. It’s easy to find as you pull into this outdoor mall area, just look for their large sign above the large protruding front porch that invites you into their place. It’s not really much to look at from the front but I find that most of the best restaurants and bars don’t have a great deal of curb appeal!

There’s two doors to choose from, one leads you into the bar and the other directly into the restaurant but you can easily walk between the two as needed. It’s nice to have them separated depending on whether you’re there with your family or not. 

When you first walk in to the bar you’ll be invited with a large bar area with loads of seats as well as many tables along the side. I have yet to go when this bar hasn’t been packed! There’s always a friendly face to greet you at the door and offer you a seat (if there’s one to spare).  But that’s the draw for me, it’s buzzing and is full of happy people just waiting to make new friends!  You feel very welcome here from the great service and general liveliness! There’s TV’s everywhere so it’s a great location to watch your 

favorite local sports team. They have seasonal specials that coordinate with the various sports seasons. This place rocks (pardon the pun) during Broncos NFL season.

If you’re looking for a bit quieter section and a casual sit down meal then step over to the door to the left where you will be greeted by the host and escorted to a table.  It’s fairly basic in here but there are booths if you like a more secluded, comfortable area. The food I promise isn’t your basic American Bar Food, they apparently have quite a good chef!

What I haven’t told you about is the best place in the Rock to spend summer evenings….  it’s their patio out back.  You can get to the patio through the bar or restaurant and as you walk towards the back of the building you start to see the extend of their huge patio area through the wall of windows. Walking through to the patio you’re quickly notice the fabulous view, especially at night!  It faces south and looks right over the Piney Creek Trail and Saddle Rock Golf Club. There’s ample tables that are nicely spread out and even better, the patio is covered.  Sit and relax here for a while. That’s what we do, on a regular basis.

So what’s on the menu? Well pretty much everything you’d expect and a lot lot more.  To be honest, the menu is a little too large and they should cut it down and specialize more. Well at least that’s what I’ve seen on those reality shows where they turn around restaurants in trouble. This restaurant is very successful though, the food is very good and this is supported by the 476 Google reviews that give it 4.3 stars out of 5! They have several ‘Mexican’ food items on the menu, in fact a whole section, which tend to be my favorite and I’ve just discovered their new Spicy Habanero Soup which I must try next time I go in. A few more favorites are Nachos, Rockin Potato Skins, and if you’re looking for something lighter then check out one of their delicious salads. Even the biggest connoisseur of salads would love one of these!.  Let’s not forget the usual pub fare which is not to be passed up - Fish and Chips, Fried Chicken, Burger and Fries and a long long list of side orders to boot.  You can’t go home without trying one of their desserts too, they had me at Sopapilla with caramel dip but their Caramel Apple Chimichanga with Vanilla Ice Cream is amazing. They have their ‘Rock’s famous dessert nachos’ as well and although I haven’t tried those I’m sure they’re delicious. 

Order to go if you need, they’re fully equipped to send you home with a hearty meal, just give them a call or even better, stop by, sip on an ice cold beer while they cook your dinner.

Breakfast time on a Sunday is busy here!  No surprise. They have one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in the area and it’s consistently good. The menu includes the usual omelettes, eggs and bacon, breakfast sandwiches, Eggs Benedict but continuing with the Mexican theme, they have breakfast burritos, chimichangas, tacos and even a breakfast quesadilla. Plenty of french toast and pancakes are available too including their Peanut Butter French Toast - YUM!  Go down this Sunday and eat breakfast on the patio with your family, you’ll thoroughly enjoy it and so will the kids!

Speaking of kids, there is a nice kids menu with all the foods that kids love. Chicken fingers, Burgers, PB & J, Mac and Cheese, Grilled Cheese etc., but they have a nice healthy choice as well with their grilled chicken that comes with mash and veggies. They also have a burrito, nachos and quesadilla for the kids too, just so they don’t feel left out with the Mexican food.

I can’t sign off without talking about the booze and happy hour. They pride themselves on having many local brews on tap but if you like Coors or Bud they have a winter (2018) special of $2 pints all day on Saturday and Sunday.  Last time we went, we sat on the patio and I enjoyed a delicious Margherita. It was their top shelf version and it totally hit the spot. You can’t beat sitting on a patio, in the summer, with a stunning view with an ice cold Margherita in your hands.

So, if you want more information then they have a decent website click on this link They have a good facebook page too which I recommend liking so you can see all the cool events they hold including a lot of fundraisers, karaoke nights, and even a chill cook off!  The link to their facebook page, click here.

If you’ve just moved or are moving to Denver then this is one to put on the list of local places to try. Great neighborhoods in the area are Piney Creek, Southshore and Beacon Point, in case you’re looking for a spot near a bar and restaurant you’d like to call your ‘local’.