Done schussing? Time to start slamming in your ski boots. Luckily, hotspots on the mountain are designed for just that, letting you drink grog in your goggles (groggles?)
T-bar: This venerable locals’ favorite is known more for its downhome, grassroots vibe than its social stature. It lets you ski right in — even allowing you to try a little freestyle move in front of the adoring crowd — and click out of your bindings tableside. With an old school vibe just like its namesake, archaic lift, it serves up cold brewha’s on tap, wines and bomber margs, as well as town’s best game of drunken hammerschlagen. Bonus: It’s located at the former ski patrol shack, a good omen if you smash your pinkie.
Slopeside: A longtime local’s fave, Slopeside is known for its homespun, wood-fired ‘za’s, ice cold brews, live music outside come spring, and straight-from-the-Arctic, ski-up ice bar. Ski or board right up to your chair (poaching a nacho from another table in route) before buying a round for the masses. Hint: A “local’s” pint pass gets you happy hour pricing on beer.
Los Locos: In the mood for margs? Remodeled as freshly as its squeezed limes, Los Locos has you covered, with some of the best salt-rimmed libations in town. Order inside, grab a number, and they’ll bring it outside to your table. For grub, saddle up to chips and salsa, nachos, and green chili-smothered burritos. Bonus: Heaters keep your tootsie’s warm if you stay into the evening.
Paramount: Head to Paramount for some of the cheapest beers at the base (including pitchers), as well as covered outdoor seating that lets you wave to friends walking by to their poached parking space at Ski Times Square. And their food is uber-sweet, including Pesto Chicken, Pulled Pork with Brie and Cubano sandwiches, and handcut fries with mango-chipotle ketchup. Bonus: overhead heaters that actually work, keeping you toasty as you get toasted.
Truffle Pig: Bar none, one of the cheapest post-schralp-sesh beer accolades go to Truffle Pig, where you can saddle up to $3 draft brewha’s and other deals. (Go ahead and buy a whole round for your friends). While fitting inside can be tough along the narrow-corridored bar, you can always hang out outside by a large gas fireplace, banging your boots together to get warm. And, oh yeah, gotta’ try the Truffle fries.
Timber & Torch: With a new, expansive view thanks to this summer’s demolition of the old gondola base, Timber & Torch boasts the mountain’s largest party area, with umbrella bars on the patio and an expansive bar inside with a live music dance floor (please, please, not in your ski boots). Come spring, its multi-tiered deck connects inside via giant roll-up doors. For grub, try bistro-inspired food like the Ski Town USA Burger, washed down with 24 beers on tap. Bonus: Happy Hour at a tired-legs-friendly 3-5 p.m. daily.
Routtie’s: Replacing Last Tracks from last year, Routtie’s, on the corner near Paramount in Torian Plaza, is the resort’s newest hang-out, featuring Texas-style BBQ goodies and beer. Since it’s new the jury’s out, but it’s hard to go wrong with that combo.
Gondola Pub & Grill: Formerly the Grubstake (and before that such age-old bars as After Glow, Pink Cadillac and Helm), Gondola Pub & Grill is the second-longest, same-owner-operated restaurant in Steamboat, behind Harwig’s downtown. It features a tried-and-true happy hour and family friendly, American-style cuisine designed to get you back out on the hill. It boasts an outdoor upper deck, upper-level bar, and fire pit on the lower patio.
Fleischer Sports: What…a ski shop in a mountain apres listing? Yep, two-time Olympian Chad Fleisher has added a bar to his ski shop at the base of the mountain. He’s struck gold with the combo, which lets you sit at the three-tap bar — directly in front of the CSA tuning machine’s window and below two 55-inch televisions — while waiting for your skis to get waxed or just hanging out with friends. “People can have a beer while watching their skis get tuned,” says Fleischer, known for his crash in the Hahnenkamm World Cup Downhill in Kitzbuehel. “As far as I know, this concept has never been done anywhere, even in Europe.”
Brick: We dare you not to sing “She’s a brick…house!” by the Commodores when walking through the doors of The Brick, located at the base of the Wildhorse Gondola. The closest grub and bevvies to the Meadows Parking Lot, inside you’ll find homespun pizzas, beer, wine and more — as well as the gondola as your personal valet service. Trivia: The term “brick house” is actually complimentary, meaning “a curvaceous, ‘stacked’, attractive female.”