Denver's ten best new bars of 2012

gary lees grub 1.jpg
Danielle Lirette
7) Gary Lee's Motor Club and Grub
176 South Broadway
After many unexpected delays, Gary Lee Bomar finally opened Gary Lee's Motor Club and Grub in April, in a formerly run-down garage space that was refurbished and transformed into a vintage, car-themed roadhouse with a great patio. Remember to check out the decorative detail while you chow down on a smoked Portobello sandwich or pulled pork with barbeque sauce. Talk about vroom service!

local 46 .jpg
Danielle Lirette
6) Local 46
4586 Tennyson Street
Denizens of northwest Denver lamented the closing of the Music Box, but they quickly started singing a different tune when Niya Diehl and Grant Gingerich opened Local 46, an eco-friendly, community tavern, last April. Local 46 offers a wide range of local beers and spirits, as well as cocktails with a '70s flair. And while Local 46 doesn't have a kitchen (visiting food trucks take care of that), it was a full calendar of fun events, including community potlucks and karaoke night.

mile high spirits .jpg
Danielle Lirette
5) Mile High Spirits
2920 Larimer Street
After Joe Vonfeldt, Chase Campbell and Wyn Ferrell opened Mile High Sprits, a full-service, private-label distillery on Larimer last February, they decided to create a bar where people could enjoy a signature cocktail made with one of their labels -- including Elevate Vodka, Fireside Whiskey and Denver Dry Gin --while they learned about the distillery process. Since then Mile High has become a true gathering place, with occasional live music performances.

Continue reading for more of the city's best new bars.


Location Info

Ace

501 E. 17th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Adrift

218 S. Broadway, Denver, CO

Category: Music

Gary Lee's Motor Club and Grub

176 S. Broadway, Denver, CO

Category: Music

Local 46

4586 Tennyson St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Mile High Spirits - CLOSED

2920 Larimer St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Park House

1515 Madison St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Vesper Lounge

233 E. 7th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

The 1up Colfax

717 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music

The Dive Inn

1380 S. Broadway, Denver, CO

Category: Music


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14 comments
Josh Court
Josh Court

Oh yeah punch bowl is great if you're looking for that desperate highlands ranch feel downtown.

klyphw
klyphw

Punch Bowl and Vesper are fucking awful bars.  Vesper especially.  Completley devoid of any kind of soul.  Punch Bowl might be the worst thing to happen to Broadway since construction.

LeoMontaldi
LeoMontaldi

I love Denver, I'm actually 5th generation to live here. But, when I read through this article, the bar scene here is lame.  Many of them offer the same stuff to do, drinks are similar only touted to be made with different brands.  These new bars are only replacing the lame old bars that have died...there's really nothing new.  The bar craze has struck Denver just as the restaurant craze did...same ol' sh*t as down the street but with "our" twist, nothing original...when will it phase out and some quality bars and restaurants open in Denver? 

DanWinter
DanWinter

Great list.  I want to check out Mile High Spirits.  I really dig those old barrel-roof/clear span buildings.  And they distill on premises? Sounds like a winner

AtticusFinch
AtticusFinch

Good list.  


Punch Bowl Social and Ace Eat Serve are the hands down best winners, for my money.  

epll
epll

Perhaps as a bar for playing games, Punch Bowl Social is good, but I had arguably the worst dining experience of my 9 years in Denver at that place last month.  The service was non-existent--it took 45 minutes to get coffees and water (this was brunch), and we had been sitting for over an hour before a food order was taken.  Both the coffee and food were cold, and the food, while promising, was mediocre at best.  And I can't forget the dirty table we were seated at.  Although it had been wiped, the table had deep grooves running down it where old food had settled and never been cleaned.  Appetizing!  Needless to say I will never be back.

DanWinter
DanWinter

@epll wow sad experience.  I've had exactly the opposite.  I've been down there about 6-8 times (I work nearby) for coffee or lunch and have always had a good experience.  I've been in twice at night and while it can get packed they seem to have a huge staff.  Love that place despite all the haters that seem to be out there.



ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

@Megan Kratzman

Please go back and read the article.  Dive Inn isn't necessarily #1 because the bars were listed in no particular order:

"Here, in no particular order, are Cafe Society's picks for the ten best new bars that opened in metro Denver in 2012."

Megan369
Megan369

@foodcrazy Dive Inn is #1 in my eyes.  (Alright, good call, I didn't read the intro...)

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