Bar scene: Denver

Imbibing in the Mile High City

 

Special to the Miami Herald

Denver’s beverage scene is exploding. No one really cares who got there first. It’s all about what’s happening at the moment, and at the moment, there’s a lot going on. Much like the city itself, there’s a relaxed vibe … even in the most cultured beverage haunts. From sneaking through a hidden door for some classic tipples to requesting a Ping Pong paddle with your pint of ale, here are three that have you covered for a night out.

Williams & Graham

If you are a denizen of the craft mixology world, you’ve probably heard of Sean Kenyon. He’s known in bar circles — and in the Mile High city as a drink columnist for Westword magazine — as a no-nonsense, laid-back drink slinger with a personality that’s nearly addictive to be around. He can make you a perfect Sazerac, but there’s no dissertation on bitters. Kenyon’s an everyman’s man. And it shows inside Williams & Graham, the cocktail den he co-opened in 2011.

Entering a building that dates to 1906, you first find a tiny room with a spiffy host, who then escorts you through a trap door. Inside, it’s candlelit and dark and the conversations bounce happily off the walls. Where some bars might feel austere, there’s a true camaraderie here. The staff is as gregarious as the owners.

“The tin ceilings and hardwood floors are original,” Kenyon told me over a fantastic stirred tequila cocktail called the El Ocho Rosada. “For most of the first half of the 20th century, our building existed as C.H. Blezek’s pharmacy. The basement was once an illegal bar known as Johnny’s Inn.” Kenyon will give you what’s likely the best cocktail in Denver, so I suggest stopping in.

DETAILS: 3160 Tejon St.; 303-997-8886; williamsandgraham.com

Steuben’s and Ace

These two are situated virtually next door to one another and owned by the same people, so choosing to drink at Steuben’s means you can also mosey on over to Ace. Or vice versa. The love of these places isn’t in the proximity however, but in the cool beer selections, the hearty, fix-any-hangover food menus (chicken & waffles at Steuben’s gets a massive thumbs-up) and the cool industrial design elements — like retro barstools at Steuben’s and ping pong tables at Ace.

“We get the entire spectrum of drinkers, from people who want a cold can of Coors to cocktail enthusiasts who request our house-made cocktails,” explains Emily Biederman, the business manager. “Part of what makes these spots so appealing is the fact that such a wide variety of people love what we do. So you never know who you might end up sitting next to at the bar.”

HIGH NOTE: Both spots offer incredible patios that give guests options of sun or shade, small tables or communal, and misting fans in the summer.

DETAILS: Steuben’s: 523 E. 17th Ave.; 303-830-1001; steubens.com. Ace: 501 E. 17th Ave.; 303-800-7705; acedenver.com.

Read more Travel stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
The village of Penmarch, whose name reflects Brittany’s Celtic past; the word Penmarch means head of a horse in the local Breton, a Celtic language brought to this region in the Middle Ages by Britons migrating to the continent.

    France

    Life at the ‘end of the earth’ in western Brittany

    Do you know where the world ends?

  •  
 In books and film, San Francisco was once indelibly linked with noir -- and there are still plenty of locals keeping alive an era when darkness held a certain glamour.

    California

    Hammett’s San Francisco: Where noir still lives

    San Francisco is well known for its transformations, the most recent one fueled by tech money that has seemingly scrubbed much of the city clean. Evidence of it tends to be easy to mock: the $4 artisanal toast, the shuttle buses carrying workers from the city interior to Silicon Valley, the preponderance of reclaimed wood. But for almost a century, the city has been indelibly linked with an enigmatic genre that might be considered an antidote to all of that: noir.

  • The travel troubleshooter

    Resort won’t accept my Travelzoo voucher

    Q: I recently bought a Travelzoo voucher for pet-friendly accommodations at Yosemite Lakes RV Resort. I made a reservation with the resort at the time I purchased the voucher.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK



  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category