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Speakeasies Around Colorado


The prohibition may be long over, but the bar scene in the Denver, CO, area is alive and thriving, with speakeasies reminiscent of that era. Speakeasies came to be in the 1920s when the production and sale of alcohol were illegal. To get around the ban, alcohol was served and sold in concealed basements where you needed a password to enter. Many famous cocktails, like the bee's knees and Mary Pickford, were invented during prohibition times to combat the harsh flavors of illegally made alcohol.
 
Denver has quite a reputation for its craft beer and cocktail scene, with plenty of hidden bars and speakeasies in the area. Another area that might even keep Denver on its toes is Colorado Springs. This area is particularly ripe with speakeasies and various hidden bars, as it was once a forerunner in the prohibition of alcohol. Founder William J. Palmer led the charge in this area, leaving Colorado Springs with a storied and tumultuous history relating to the consumption of alcohol. More than 100 years later, this area is full of craft brewing and distilling, hidden bars, and speakeasies that pay tribute to the area's past.
 
I'm Kelly Thompson, a Denver native and luxury real estate agent since 2016. To help give you some fun things to do in Denver (and surrounding areas) at night, I've compiled a list of some of the hippest speakeasies in the area. Whether you're looking for a genuine hidden bar with required passwords or just a bit moodier, I've got you covered.

Retrograde

530 E 19th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
 

Up first is a Denver staple easily accessed through Frozen Matter, an ice cream shop serving classic and quirky flavors. Through a secret door in the back, you'll enter what appears to be a 1960s astronomy-themed bar that seats a mere 35 people. Try one of their signature cocktails like the alien apocalypse, space ninjas, or transmorphers. You can also ask for classic cocktails or have the bartender mix something special for you with their unique twist.

Luci’s Shambles & Provisions

1553 Platte St Ste 110, Denver, CO 80202
 
Next to the Highlands Bridge in Platte Street Plaza, revelers will find a collection of neon hearts. To the casual passerby, they are nothing more than decoration, but those looking for Luci’s will see them as a signpost. If you keep going past Modis' patio, you’ll find Luci’s on the left. Descend into their dungeon Wednesday through Sunday, and you’ll find delicious cocktails and a moody atmosphere. On Thursdays twice a month, you might be lucky enough to experience either burlesque or comedy. Burlesque is the second Thursday of every month, and comedy night is the last Thursday of every month. They don’t take reservations, so choose your time carefully — and if you’re a night owl, they have a happy hour from midnight to 2 am.

Brooklyn's on Boulder Street

110 E Boulder St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
 
This Colorado Springs favorite sits in a nondescript location, one you wouldn't know existed if you weren't in the know, looking more like a men's clothing store than anything else. A charming and quaint haberdashery, the energy is electric, and the ambiance is welcoming. With a high-end vibe, the food and drinks are as unique as the atmosphere. Try any appetizers like the hummus board or flatbread and pair it with any of their signature cocktails. For a real treat, try the pink squirrel.

The Archives

15 S Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
 

Another Colorado Springs staple is The Archives, a hidden bar so commonplace there's no sign. This location is open seven days a week until the wee hours of the morning, making it an excellent choice for late-night entertainment. They are inside Colorado Craft; however, after 10 P.M., you'll have to enter through the backdoor in the alley. This location is one of the more authentic speakeasies in the area, focusing on the history and the city's past. They offer an assortment of shareable bites along with an extensive cocktail menu. With a chill environment and a drink menu that's out of this world, this is one location you won't want to skip.

Green Russell

1422 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80202
 

Green Russell is in Larimer Square, one of the most historic blocks in the Denver area, and features the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day. They do not accept reservations, so you'll want to show up early to get a good spot. You'll also find a list of rules to follow that are nothing short of being respectful to those around you, including not using your cell phone outside the special telephone booth. As a chef-driven cocktail bar, you'll find the handcrafted cocktails and food exceptional. Indulge in the brisket biscuits, bacon bombs, or pork belly BLT bites while sipping on one of their signature cocktails. Green Russell also features one of Denver's largest rare whiskey collections, so bring your appetite and your thirst.

Williams and Graham

3160 Tejon St, Denver, CO 80211
 
Known as one of the most popular speakeasies in the Denver area, this particular one is tucked away in a corner bookstore with nothing unusual except the hours. Behind a swinging bookcase in that store, though, is a unique location with a warm and inviting atmosphere. There is magic within the walls of this bar that appeals to all senses. Featuring plenty of handcrafted cocktails, some that span more than 200 years, and an impressive selection of spirits, there's sure to be something you'll enjoy. They also feature a changing menu of hors d'oeuvres, small plates, entrees, and delectable desserts. Try the artichoke hummus, bone marrow, and crab dip for an incredible feast paired with one of their seasonal cocktails. This is a must-try spot that you'll love returning to time and again.

Allusion Cocktail Bar

Photo courtesy of Allusion Cocktail Bar
 
This uniquely themed speakeasy changes every few months, so while today you might enter a Game of Thrones-themed bar, it might be completely different next month. A small, 20-person location featuring reservations, you'll love the pop culture trends this bar takes on. Sitting in the back of Rooster's House of Ramen, you'll find this one behind a simple brick wall. The drinks and food selections match the theme at that particular time, but classic cocktails are always available for those who don't want something unique and funky.
 
This list is just a small selection of the speakeasies found in and around the Denver, Colorado area. With so many memorable things to see and do in the area, visiting these speakeasies will only add to your list of fun. You may not have to evade the police anymore, but some of them still require you to be "in the know" or have a passcode to enter, so research first.
 
If you're interested in learning more about the Denver area, or buying or selling Cherry Creek luxury homes, contact me, and let's get started.




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I have certifications and advanced training in residential construction of homes, new home builds, negotiations and understanding of title. I believe in taking care of my clients before, during, and after their home buying or selling experience.
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