All it takes is an elevator ride to the sixth floor of the Thompson Denver hotel to get to some of the best views in town. The space is huge, which means views of the city, the mountains, and the stadium from the wrap-around windows. Of course you’ll want something to sip on while you take in the killer views, and the cocktail list here is fun and unique. From the passion fruit and amaro-filled Paper Passion to the cantaloupe-infused pisco and sparkling sake One in a Melon, there’s always something new to try.
Okay, so you may not have thought that Denver’s nightlife scene was in desperate need of a Pueblo, Colorado-themed bar, but stick with us here. There are green chile drinks, beers from Copper Kettle Brewing Company, and slopper sliders galore (open-faced burgers drenched in green chile). Sounds pretty good, right? Showcasing the best of Pueblo but without the two-hour drive down south, Fuel & Iron is low-key and spicy. Just like Pueblo.
The Dew Drop Inn is like a classed-up dive bar—it has all the come-as-you-are comfort you crave, just gussied up a little. In terms of drinks, this translates to fancy-ish, but still well-priced, cocktails, as well as an all-day beer and a shot deal for $8. The food, though, is decidedly un-divey, with a sophisticated menu that features big bowls of mussels, karaage chicken, and fried veggie cakes. Time your visit right for the daily happy hour until 6 pm, and then again from 10 pm to close, when well drinks are $5 and those fancy-ish cocktails fly for just $7.
Just how cool is Yacht Club? You can get a fancy schmancy cocktail made with liqueurs you can’t pronounce, or you can get a Jack and Coke with a hot dog for $8. Your choice. This is the ultimate high-low mash-up, and it gets even better when you hit the Snowballs section of their drink menu. The boozy shave ice options include combos like Vergano Americano with pickled blueberries and sherry with candied orange. Cool, both literally and figuratively.
If you were just pondering why Denver doesn’t have a goth dive bar/vegan eatery, well, ponder no more. The Crypt opened in January, filling the hole in our city’s vegan death bar scene. There’s a moody vibe, cheap cans and bottles, plus vegan poutine and eggplant Reubens (and burgers for the non-vegans). This isn’t the place for fancy cocktails, but if you want a can of PBR and a shot for $7, this is the death bar for you.
Cherry Creek’s Clayton St. has become quite the cocktail destination, what with Forget Me Not and now Five Nines shaking things up side-by-side. Five Nines is especially sexy and ambitious, full of velvet booths, dim lights, and, oh yeah, scantily clad pole dancers shimmying across the stage every hour, on the hour. But don’t let the entertainment distract you from the drinks. The large cocktail menu, created by vets from American Bonded and Poka Lola, is just as seductive as the dancers.