OURAY – The man behind the bar is not named O’Brien. “That’s my mother’s name; she’s Irish,” said owner/bartender Rick Smith of Ouray’s Main Street O’Brien’s Pub.
Like a good pub in the old country, O’Brien’s is bidding to be more than a drinking and eating (and Monday Night Football-watching) establishment. To that end, Smith has started a Monday night darts league and devoted a corner of the restaurant space to the classic game.
Anyone can play; new members are welcome, Smith said. The weekly competition begins at 8 p.m.
“I’ll tell you what I think is really going to take off,” Smith said from behind the Guinness tap. “Our poker league. We’ll play Texas Hold ’Em, the game they play for the World Series of Poker.”
Recent changes in Colorado state gambling laws have redesignated Texas Hold ‘em a game of skill. So, it won’t be gambling going on among O’Brien’s regulars. The state law says: Gambling does not include: “bona fide contests of skill” or “any game, wager, or transaction which is incidental to a bona fide social relationship . . . and in which no person is participating . . . in professional gambling.”
“Ours is strictly a locals league,” Smith said. “There won’t be any professional card sharks allowed. That’ll be pretty easy to do in Ouray, where everybody knows everybody.”
O’Brien’s is open Wednesday to Monday at 11 a.m. for lunch and dinner.