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Craft cocktails have flourished in Denver over the last few years, and there’s no better place to sip on one than a dimly lit speakeasy. Luckily, there are quite a few of these hidden gems to choose from.
Hidden across Denver in basements, hotels, and unassuming shops, some places will require a passcode or reservation while others you can simply walk in. Whether you’re looking for something upscale, craving a custom cocktail, or want to see the area from a different view, here are our favorite old-time speakeasies in the Mile High City, in no particular order:
1. Green Russell
Tucked away behind a pie shop in Larimar Square, Green Russell coins itself a ‘chef-driven cocktail joint’, from chef-partner Frank Bonnano. You enter down a flight of stairs and through the lobby of Russell’s Smokehouse, which serves up delicious BBQ. Able to be booked for private events, it should be mentioned that guests can only use their phones in the designated telephone booth.
Boasting Denver’s largest collection of rare whiskey, this prohibition-style speakeasy is open from 5 pm – 10 pm Sunday to Thursday and 5 pm – 12 am on Friday and Saturday.
1422 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80202 | 303-893-6505 | greenrussell.com
2. The Cruise Room
Illuminated by red lights inside the Oxford Hotel, The Cruise Room was opened in 1933 and is Denver’s longest-running bar. Featuring an art deco ambiance, jazzy soundtrack, and signature, martinis, this landmark location brings the prohibition era to modern times.
Open from 5 pm – 10 pm Sunday to Thursday, and from 5 pm – 11 pm on Friday and Saturday, small plates are also offered.
1600 17th St CO, Denver, CO 80202 | 303-825-1107 | theoxfordhotel.com…
3. Williams & Graham
Set behind a bookstore facade, Williams & Graham is a true prohibition-style speakeasy. It’s the most well-known one in the Mile High City, featuring an intimate atmosphere and bookshelf entrance. Serving handcrafted cocktails, small plates, and desserts, there are only 60 seats in the establishment.
Open from 5 pm – 1 am daily, reservations are recommended. Once inside, you’ll have 2 hours to enjoy yourself.
3160 Tejon St, Denver, CO 80211 | 303-997-8886 | williamsandgraham.com
Retrograde gets props for the best undercover entrance, concealed in the back of an ice cream shop in Uptown. Frozen Matter boasts the freezer door that unlocks this authentic speakeasy. Fancy cocktails reign here, along with a few small plates to accompany them.
A light switch on the freezer door rings a host to your presence. It’s the only clue to an otherwise unmarked bar, besides seeing individuals oddly lounging in a functioning ice cream parlor without ordering ice cream. The atmosphere is a less rustic speakeasy, and more club feel with an astronomy vibe, keeping it true to its name Retrograde. It opens daily at 5 pm daily.
530 E 19th Ave, Denver, CO 80203 | 720-772-7843 | retrogradednvr.com
B&GC is probably the most authentic speakeasy in Denver, given its exclusivity and hidden locale. Buried in the basement of the Halcyon Hotel, it can be difficult to garner access to.
The ambiance is cozy and dark, with a dose of snooty (given its home). You can find it on a side alley in Cherry Creek, between 2nd and 3rd Ave. After bringing the doorbell, a host behind a door labeled “Stair 3” will help you to your table. Reservations are highly recommended and can only be made by texting the number listed below.
For additional cocktails, Halcyon features a typical hotel bar on the ground floor, but for the best memories and coolest vibe, take the elevator up to the top floor. You’ll enjoy a secluded rooftop tavern with 360° views and a laid-back atmosphere.
249 Columbine St, Denver, CO 80206 | 720-925-8598 | bandgcdenver.com
6. Peaks Lounge
On the Hyatt Regency’s 27th floor you’ll discover a bar with some of Denver’s best views. Looking over the mountains, the lounge boasts an extensive cocktail list, a large selection of wine and champagne, and desserts to finish off the night. Open daily at 4 pm, The Peaks Lounge is a great place to unwind after a busy day.
650 15th St, Denver | 303-436-1234 | hyatt.com…
7. Downtown Aquarium
You won’t need to pay for access to the aquarium to soak in some of its scenery via The Dive Lounge. Boasting a happy hour Monday to Friday, on-site there is a full restaurant and a 50,000-gallon centerpiece aquarium, ensuring you’ll have a memorable time.
700 Water St, Denver, CO 80211 | 303-561-4450| aquariumrestaurants.com…
8. Cooper Lounge
Set on the second-floor Union Station, The Cooper Lounge is a sleek and modern bar on the south side of the main floor. A glamorous lounge with top-notch cocktails, a complex wine list, and food pairings, seeing downtown Denver through the giant windows is a great way to end the day. Able to host private events, reservations can be made in advance.
1701 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202 | 720-460-3738 | cooperlounge.com
The next morning be sure to hit up one of Denver’s best coffee shops, as you’ll probably need the pick-me-up. Cheers, the night is young!