From fancier joints, like the Buckhorn Exchange and Bastien’s, to neighborhood Friday night out faves, like Columbine Steak House and Mickey’s Top Sirloin, the Denver metro has no shortage of steakhouses. But back when we were considered more of a, ahem, cowtown 🐄 Emil-Lene’s Sirloin House was THE place to impress a guest with a big beef steak.
This quirky dining spot off Smith Road in Aurora was famous for its prime cuts, fresh relish trays, and unexpected steakhouse side dishes (like spaghetti!). Emil-Lene’s was all about the atmosphere — diners could enjoy their chuckwagon dinner within a mythical “old West” setting, complete with the remnants of a covered wagon parked out front. But the true attraction? A comically-large peppermill the waitresses would bring to your table — a throwback to a time when “fresh cracked pepper” meant the finest of dining. Emil-Lene’s closed in 2014, taking a little piece of the Mile High’s faux-Old West lore with it. RIP.
This section was written by City Cast Denver host and old Denver expert Bree Davies.