The Stadium Inn emerged in the early 1940s and was a hit with fans of DU football — a leather-helmeted squad the sportswriters dubbed “the Fighting Parsons.” Before it was a bar, the Stadium’s corner location was a drugstore, says current proprietor Jordan Saliman, whose late father bought the watering hole in 1977. In 1947, returning veterans, white and black, actively rebelled against the Inn’s segregation policy. Their protest worked. While most establishments refused to cater to mixed audiences in those days, the Stadium Inn became one of Denver’s first to end the practice. “The Stadium Inn was a good meeting place for students on a low budget,” recalls Raymond Records, BS ’56. “About 5 p.m., students began to filter in for 25-cent beer and snack food. Some would dance to the elderly jukebox.”
Time ran out on DU football in 1960, but the hockey crowd kept the taps flowing at the Stadium Inn long after the place it was named for was gone. By the 1970s, the Inn’s clientele had shifted from student to biker, and new owner Maurice Saliman decided the Stadium Inn needed to embrace its roots. “He wanted to cultivate a reputation that was safe and comfortable for students to come socialize,” Jordan Saliman says. “There was an educational process with a bar around the University, teaching students what it means to be over 21, have dignity and be in a safe environment.” Quickly, it was out with the biker gear and back in with the pennants and jerseys. It was a welcome change. In a recent review, Denver Post writer Ricardo Baca confirmed the ambience of the Inn, which is open from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week. “Imbibing at the Stadium is more like being at your buddy’s house than a bar,” he wrote. Saliman has no plans to meddle with the magic his father rediscovered. He keeps the promotions going, giving away tickets to DU sporting events, and points with pride at special celebrations such as graduation day, when “grads and dads” can depend on an early happy hour to help them through the ceremony. “Nostalgia never goes out of style,” he says. “National chains come and go, but the University community and family always comes back. They like to see their initials carved in the bathroom wall.”
Excepted from: Mike Flanagan, “DU ‘s Favorite Dive,” University of Denver Magazine (Denver: University of Denver, Summer 2005) accessed August 1, 2013, http://blogs.du.edu/today/magazine/dus-favorite-dive.