Denver's ten best new bars of 2012
With the additions of everything from neighborhood taverns to high-end lounges, Denver's bar scene got even better in 2012. Residents and tourists alike have many more options when they're looking for fun after the sun goes down -- or even before that. Here, in no particular order, are Cafe Society's picks for the ten best new bars that opened in metro Denver in 2012.
Danielle Lirette Gary Lee's Motor Club and Grub.
10) Punch Bowl - Social Food & Drink
Bowling, ping-pong, shuffleboard, darts and foosball - clearly, Punch Bowl - Social Food & Drink is much more than a bar. In November, Robert Thompson opened the long-awaited Punch Bowl in the 24,000-square-foot space that formerly held Big Lots, and now has a coffee shop, gastro-diner, lounge, second bar and, of course, lots of games. Thompson and his staff serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, as well as a bar menu until almost last call; the bar features find signature punches, draft beer and keg wine. Let's play!
Mark Manger Bartender Regan Horacek mixes drinks behind the bar at Ace.
501 East 17th Avenue
In August, Josh and Jen Wolken opened Ace in a 9,000-square-foot space right next to its sibling, Steuben's, and instantly created one of the best new hangouts in Denver. Order an alcoholic shaved ice or a scorpion bowl from Randy Layman, the genius behind the bar, or something off the Asian-American food menu while you wait for your turn at the ping-pong table. A little liquid courage never hurts when you're challenging your friends to a round of ping-pong. Score!
218 South Broadway
Step back in time at Adrift, Denver's only tiki bar, opened in April. With a small plates menu with an Asian twist and a bar that features forty varieties of rum as well as a cocktail list that offers a modern take on classic tropical drinks, dropping into Adrift is like taking a short, South Seas vacation. And an intimate one, if you grab a table on the tiny back patio.
Continue reading for more of the city's best new bars.