Drink of the Week
Stewart's 1899 Saloon
VFW Post #1
955 Bannock Street
As we walked into Stewart's, one of the many older men at the bar turned around and said, "The girls are here. What kind of music do you girls like?" I hoped this was a rhetorical question, since my friend and I were struck speechless: We hadn't been referred to as "girls" in years. But since Stewart's is part of the first VFW in the country (founded in a building around the corner in 1899), I guess we were comparative youngsters. Across the bar, I spotted a veteran drinking a classic Black Russian ($4). What drink could possibly be more appropriate at a VFW? Maybe a Black Russian made with Starbucks Coffee Liqueur, the new brew that has some Coloradans frothing mad over Starbucks' crossing into alcoholic beverages (see www.stardrunks.com). When I asked the bartender what he thought of subbing Starbucks for the traditional sweet-and-warm Kahlúa, he reported that although the bottle had been there for months, it had yet to be cracked open. Being a VFA (veteran of foreign alcohol), I enlisted his help in updating the Black Russian for new global realities. But at first sip, I thought he'd put old coffee grounds in my drink; the bitter, overcooked-coffee taste of the Starbucks Liqueur was almost more than I could swallow. While I tried to down my bad liquor choice, a man sitting next to me began telling his life story. Since he made no mention of service to his country, I asked, "Are you a veteran of a foreign war?" His answer told me everything I needed to know about Stewart's: "No, I'm a drunk." -- Nancy Levine
Got drinks? E-mail editorial @westword.com
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Denver dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.