Pirates, Tater Tots, Chicken Fried Steak, and Now The Green Bay Packers at the Heartland Cafe

Pirates love football. Especially that lady pirate in the middle...
If you're a big hungry fella with a hankering for some down-home Midwestern farm food, I've got the perfect place for you.

If you're a weirdly obsessive fan of Robert Louis Stevenson, a Seafair Pirate without a port to call home now that the season is done, or just really like pirates and want to bend some elbows in a barroom fashioned after a Spanish galleon, I've got the perfect place for you.

If you're a displaced Wisconsinite (Wisconsiner? Wisconsinoid?) washed up in Seattle and missing the charms of the Badger State--the brats and beer and tater tot casseroles of your own home latitudes--or have been worried that there's no place in this strange new world for you to watch a Green Bay Packers game while surrounded by your Cheesehead brethren, I've got the perfect place for you.

And the amazing thing? They're all the same place.

Yes, the Heartland Cafe (which I reviewed and liked just a few weeks ago) is the spot for all you Wisconsin-born, Midwestern pirates and Packers fans out there--all the more so since co-owner Jeff Loren (who operates the place along with partner and Green Bay native Jay Wergin) picked up a tertiary space behind the pirate-themed Benbow Room, knocked a hole in the wall, and opened up a brand new 1800 square-foot Wisconsin-inspired party room just two weeks ago.

"We're doing good," Loren told me when I called to check on things at the Heartland. "And this new space we're hoping will help even more."

Decorated with pictures of Midwestern farm life and with space for about fifty diehard fans, the new space (which doesn't really have its own name yet) isn't yet totally done, but it's getting there. "We don't have the TV's yet," Loren said, but they'll be in place before football season starts. There are already pool tables and dart boards, food service offered through the kitchen that already services the Heartland Cafe and the Benbow Room. He's working on getting taps in place and a pinball machine or two. It's a work in progress.

But it's also open right now, and to Loren, that's what matters. I asked him what, exactly the space was--a sports bar, overflow seating for the cafe, a party room, what--and he just said, "Yes. It's all those things." He's already hosted a couple parties back there, including a midnight breakfast buffet. And he knows that the new addition (which he picked up as a second lease in a super-fast expansion for a bar and restaurant that's only been up and running since April) will be huge once the Packers start playing, drawing in fans from all over the city.

And that's all well and good for those Wisconsin transplants. I'm happy for them, really. But on a football-related personal note, you know what's killing me right now? The fact that CU and CSU are playing their Rocky Mountain Showdown this weekend and I can't find anywhere in this city to watch the game. It isn't being shown on cable, and that's to be expected, I guess. If it was, I'd just be staying home, drinking beer and eating carnitas all day with my CU-alum wife like in any normal year. But I also can't find a single Colorado bar anywhere in town that might be showing it.

So now that I've helped out you Packers fans and told you where you can go for a nice, sweet hit of home, how 'bout one of you coming through and telling me if there's anywhere a couple of expatriate Coloradans might go to watch the Buffs kick the ever-loving crap out of CSU for a few hours. I (and my wife) will be eternally grateful to anyone who comes through with some solid information. Matter of fact, find me a place to watch the CU-CSU game, and once the Packers start playing, I'll buy your first round of PBR and tots at the new Heartland bar. Deal?

Comments below. And thanks in advance.

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