Denver's ten best new bars
The metro area gained so many liquid assets in 2011, we had to do a lot of drinking before we could choose the winner of our Best New Bar award for the Best of Denver 2012. And even then, the awards kept spilling out for other new spots, including Best Neighborhood Brewery, Best Place to See a Grownup Cry Over Pac-Man and Best New Brewery.
Jim Wills Williams & Graham, winner of our 2012 Best New Bar award.
Here's our rundown of the ten best new bars in Denver.
10. The Bar, 554 South Broadway
After new owners took over the Atrium Bar & Grill, they gave the space a much-needed overhaul and reopened the place as The Bar in September. Within the next few months, the new owners started bringing in bands on the weekends, as well as hosting goldfish races and open-turntable nights on Wednesdays.
9. Tennyson's Tap , 4335 West 38th Avenue
Since opening in early 2011, Tennyson's Tap has really tapped into the community. It started out as a neighborhood bar that serves Colorado whiskey and brews, then turned into a full-fledged music venue after securing a cabaret license over the summer. Since then, it's been booking blues, jazz, rock and metal acts most nights of the week, and even added a recording studio.
8. Prohibition , 504 East Colfax Avenue
Jimmy Callahan took over one of the city's more colorful dives, the Roslyn Grill, gave it a serious scrubbing and opened Prohibition in May. The space has a much more classic -- and clean -- feel, with a bar in the back that came from a hundred-year-old saloon in Indianapolis and a new mahogany bar in front with a Chicago drink rail. In keeping with the bar's name, the decor includes newspapers from the Prohibition era and a bunch of whiskey "prescriptions."
7. The Matchbox , 2625 Larimer Street
The Matchbox's name was inspired partly by a fire that gutted the space in 2009, and partly by the fact that it's long and narrow, like a matchbox. Sudhir Kudva, who also owns the Squire Lounge, partnered with two other folks to overhaul the former Orange Cat Studios, demolishing the back of the building to make way for an awesome patio, putting in new bathrooms and installing a garage door in the front. But while the place has been updated considerably, it still retains some of the Orange Cat's charm -- including the exposed brick on the south wall. With three live-music venues within a block, the Matchbox is the perfect spot to take a break.
6. Black Crown Lounge , 1446 South Broadway
Last spring the former Cafe Cero/Open Tap space at 1446 South Broadway got an overhaul when business partners Mark Cameron and Brian Grace transformed it into the Black Crown Lounge, an authentic piano bar (during the day). Furnished with a number of items from Grace's personal collection, including chandeliers, the Black Crown feels like you're walking into someone's high-class living room; it has an old-world, over-the-top, decadent country-club feel. Many of the décor items are for sale; the space even functions as a retail shop during the day.
The top 5 are on Page 2