There’s even a Tim Burton-esque bar.
If you have a friend or family member visiting from out of town, are you going to take them to a chain that they can get in their own city? Definitely not! You’re going to take them to somewhere completely new and unique that they can only get while in Denver, right? That’s why we wanted to give you guys a quick guide to the best weird, eclectic, quirky bars in Denver so you can impress your friends, enjoy a change of scenery, and maybe even discover your new favorite place. From tropical to elegant to rustic, these are 12 of the most unique and eclectic bars here in Denver for a night out on the town.
image credit: Harry Warters Photography
We know that tiki bars are pretty kitsch, but let’s admit that a good Tiki bar is an extremely fun and breezy way to spend an evening. Adrift Tiki Bar is one of those elevated tropical spaces with fanciful cocktails placed inside tiki-inspired cups and punch bowls. There’s a lot to choose from, but we’d recommend going for their original concept cocktails. Their Lychee Seventy-Five has whiskey, lemon, lychee, St. George Terroir Gin, cinnamon, and champagne and their Voodoo Witchdoctor Funk Punch Bowl has Appleton Rum, Centenario 7yr Rum, pomegranate grenadine, pineapple, lime, absinthe, and champagne. Have fun and drink these big bowls responsibly.
Where: 218 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209
Welcome to this super secretive underground speakeasy hidden in Cherry Creek. (Psst, head to their website that hints at the mysterious art-deco vibe you’ll find once inside the bar). Inspired by the years after WWII, B&GC is elegant with fancy, themed decor and themed-cocktails to match. Drinks are a little on the pricy side, but the Steel Toe is a good bang for your bunk, with Four Roses Single Barrel, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Belle de Brillet, Orange Bitters, and Peychaud Bitters. For reservations, you can text 720-925-8598.
Where: 249 Columbine St, Denver, CO 80206
The Cruise Room is an elegant art-deco cocktail bar located inside the Oxford Hotel. The lighting and decor are immaculate and calls back to the unique old-school glamour of the Prohibition-Era. It’s also Denver’s longest standing bar, opened since the 1930s. We couldn’t find an exact drink menu, so pull up a seat and ask one of their skilled bartenders to whip you up something you’ll love.
Where: 1600 17th St, Denver, CO 80202
Head down the stairs, follow the red arrow, and you’ve found Green Russel, a quirky and weird lounge perfect for a night out with the gang. They call themselves a “chef-driven cocktail joint” and they love their smokehouse bites. Pair chopped brisket & polenta or pulled pork with a seasonal or classic cocktail. We’d recommend going for one of their seasonal creations, and if you’re a fan of the 2021-22 drink of the year, the Espresso Martini, you’ll want to try their Espresso Especial Español which has completely a favorite into something completely unique and one-of-a-kind.
Located inside the back of a discreet ice cream parlor is this discreet, petite cocktail lounge called Retrograde. Head to Frozen Matter (grab some ice cream if you fancy), and be whisked away through the walk-in cooler in the back, where you’ll be taken into a dimly lit, neon mid-century bar with doughnut lamps and horseshoe bar stools. Then get ready to let the highly trained mixologists pour you a new favorite mix. Seating inside is limited and they do not accept reservations, but on a first come, first serve basis, so keep that in mind.
Where: 530 E 19th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Mario’s is the weird, unique place to go when you want top quality pizza paired with an extremely unique and eclectic horror bar. Named after the owners’ daughters, conjoined twins that passed away, this bar is reminiscent of a Tim Burton-esque world, with a huge artificial tree, long, almost coffin-shaped red booths, and an overhead railing made of axes.
Where: 1632 Market St, Denver, CO 80202
7. Forest Room 5
Forest Room 5 has an awesome mountain getaway sort of vibe with Western-inspired food, like Bison Burgers and Pulled Pork Sandwiches. The bar itself offer a charming and rustic environment where you can enjoy films, art shows, and some awesome beer and wine. Probably one of the most charming bars in Denver, we’d definitely recommend paying them a visit if you like something a little weird, a little different, a whole lot of cozy.
Where: 2532 15th St, Denver, CO 80211
Welcome to Brass Tacks Bar. Step into a building that’s been in Denver since before the fire of 1806. Now a classy, upscale cocktail bar where you can get a classic cocktail, only elevated. Try a Dirty French if you like something with vodka that’s spritzy and clean or go for the Naked Lunch, named after the popular American novel from the 50s, that features gin and a whole bunch of citrus and stone fruit notes. The bingo board here at the bar will let you know when your drink is ready. And history tells of a ghost, recently named Lydia, haunting the building. A saloon girl from the 1800s that maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of.
Where: Union Station
Forget Me Not does cocktails and seafood, and has even paired up with local oyster shucker, Oyster Wulff to bring you delicious briny bar food to go with your cocktails. You could go for the Satine, with white rum, spiced guava and lime, or their La Pina, with white tequila, smoked pineapple, lemon, cucumber & jalapeno. They’ve even got “large format” cocktails which are perfect for a large party where you can just pour right into your glass from a large crystal container.
Where: 227 Clayton St, Denver, CO 80206
10. Ghost Donkey
Bathed in neon pink, you’ll feel like you stepped into the world of Blade Runner. Instead, you’re about to experience an elevated bar focused on the smoky, taste of Mezcal that’s become 2021-22’s sweetheart spirit, that goes great with a plate of their craft nachos. If mezcal isn’t in your tastes, they also do great tequila cocktails. Try their spin on the classics like their Mole Negroni and Oaxacan, using Mexican-inspired flavors and ingredients.
Where: 1750 Wewatta St Suites 140 & 160, Denver, CO 80202
11. Electric Cure
This brand new bar in Edgewater is a quirky weirdo’s dream. From vinyl to velvet kush paintings of celebrities like Danny Devito and the Creature From the Black Lagoon, and that’s not even counting their speciality: their tiki cocktails. Their cocktails bring that wow factor that you want when you order tiki. From crystal skull glasses piled high with spherical ice and flower garnishes to trash cans with fire-lit tops, you’ll definitely get a good bang for your buck here.
Where: 5350 W 25th Ave, Edgewater, CO 80214
12. Slasher’s Bar
This woman-owned dive bar caters to the punks and hardcore scene, the metal-heads and horror-heads with horror films, good music, and amazing cocktails. Try a Ginger’s Cure with gin, St. Germaine, lemon, ginger beer, and candied ginger for a super anti-inflammatory, spiced cocktail and catch a classic or modern horror movie this spooky season.
Where: 5126 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80220