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Bar Guide 2015: The Conquistador

2045 SE Belmont St., 232-3227. 4 pm-2:30 am daily.

The Matador's hall of degeneracy is no more—and as mourned as the culture of its Pamplonan namesake—but of course the Conquistador survives, from ex-Matador owner Casey Maxwell. The Spanish colonial-themed bar boasts the best bar nachos in the city—we tried so, so many of them—goofball cocktails of the day, a jukebox of 45s that plays free, sterling craft taps, an upstairs bachelor-pad den with a creepy gold couch that's sort of amazing, and more Spanish colonial kitsch than seems possible, including a lamp with beads that look like eternally falling raindrops. The clientele comes in shifts: nearby condo dwellers at happy hour, and when it rains, rockers and bohemes after 10 pm, when their friends start DJing. But despite the riches within—Spanish velvet! Empanadas!—the bar's geography somehow pushes you ever outward, to the little stub of a covered patio that serves as the neighborhood lounge.

Happy hour: 4-7 pm daily. $2 PBR, $3 craft, $3.25 wells, cheap food.

Entertainment: Free jukebox, DJs, shuffleboard, pinball, pool, patio.

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