Best Cigar Bar 2013 | Cigars on Sixth | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

Cigars on Sixth is the ultimate man cave — decorated in dark wood, antique chairs and a flat-screen TV, and stuffed full of every cigar- and pipe-related knickknack you can imagine, not to mention a set of antlers and a fake mounted fish. Here you'll find old boys in suits and ties, lawyers, accountants, politicians and Hawaiian shirt-clad silverbacks trading throaty stories and jokes at just about any time of day. The humidor is well-stocked, as are the shelves of ashtrays, humidors, cutters and other paraphernalia. Wanna feel even more manly? Make your way through the thick air to the back, where you can get a shave and a haircut from the one-seat barbershop.

Buntport Theater's Evan Weissman had the urge to do something more, something proactively political that would engage the public in a gentle way. His urge to facilitate a better world led to Warm Cookies of the Revolution, an ongoing series of civic discussions augmented by an element of shared creative fun that Weissman likes to characterize as a "civic health club." The concept? So simple: Themed discussions about civic and community issues are thrown on the table, along with fresh-baked cookies and milk and something for participants to do with their hands, communally if possible, such as writing letters or knitting or playing board games or cooperating to build well-planned LEGO metropolises. Every Warm Cookies event is different in scope and subject, but all have one thing in common: They get people to loosen up and start talking. Weissman is partnering with the city on some of the events, and they're beginning to pop up all over the place, though he hopes to eventually find a permanent meeting place, perhaps one with a cafe-like ambience, where cookies and milk and maybe soups could be dispensed for donations. Weissman proves that looking to the future can be fun.

The McNichols Building started out handsome when it first opened as a Carnegie Library in 1910, and it remained stately through every changing of the guard, including stints as the Denver Water Board office and the Denver Treasury. It was renamed in 1999 for former Colorado governor Stephen McNichols, and then, sadly, sat vacant for ten years. The first glimmer that there might still be life left in the McNichols came with the first Biennial of the Americas three years ago, when it housed art exhibits and roundtables; since then, the city has at least partially completed renovations that make the space more conducive to showing art, hosting events and being rented out. Since its grand opening in October, the newly anointed cultural center has become the place to go for swanky galas as well as gallery shows and meetings. Book it!

Mile High Soul Club is a monthly event, and while once a month would hardly seem enough to make it a destination, this club night packs more than enough good times and great music into one evening to hold you over until next time. Launched in 2008 at Rockbar, the night, helmed by Tyler Jacobson, DJ DogBoy and Creeper Steve, features a choice blend of hand-picked Motown and Northern and vintage soul. Not only has the night survived a succession of moves over the years, but it continues to thrive and grow. It's grown so much, in fact, that in February, Mile High Soul Club set up shop at Beauty Bar — which has plenty of room for the many fans who flock to Denver's best club night.
Evan Semón

At this point, the Solution is well on its way to becoming a Denver institution. But it isn't just our town's longest-running and most revered hip-hop night — it's also a testament to quality and resilience. Despite having moved virtually all over town since it was founded half a dozen years ago by DJs Low Key and Sounds Supreme, the Solution continues to draw a faithful crowd wherever — and however — it goes. Even after the Solution took a hiatus from weekly parties, the Solution crew continued to offer showcases featuring a parade of the best local MCs and producers, along with lauded acts from elsewhere. And last month, when the Solution returned to a weekly format at its new home at the Meadowlark, all was right in the cosmos again.

After debuting Lipgloss as an indie-rock, '80s-underground dance night in 2001, co-founders Michael Trundle (aka boyhollow) and Tyler Jacobson slowly built their once-monthly dance night into an award-winning weekly Denver institution, one of the first to embrace the dance-punk craze of the mid-2000s. More recently, however, Trundle felt the night's original theme was being eclipsed by the dubstep and hard electro sounds of the modern scene, so last spring he moved Lipgloss to Beauty Bar, where it's returned to its original, more rock- and punk-fueled sound.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a dance-club patio in Denver with a better view of the mountains and the skyline than Vinyl's indoor/outdoor rooftop patio. And the view here isn't the only amenity. This patio, one of the biggest in town, has heaters, fire pits and comfortable booths and chairs, making it a great year-round spot to sit and chat, have a smoke or just chill.

Eric Gruneisen

If you haven't been to Herman's Hideaway in a while, it's high time that you headed over there to see the renovations that have taken place, from swanky bathroom makeovers to sound upgrades. The most startling change, however, is the addition of a new outdoor smoking area — more like a patio, really — just adjacent to the stage. With floor-to-ceiling windows (and a garage door that will open during the warmer months), you don't have to miss any of the action when you step outside for a quick smoke. And you don't have to freeze when it's cold outside, either, since a massive area heater keeps things relatively comfortable.

Musician and multimedia artist Adam Stone played Ariel as a gray shadow in Buntport's phenomenal play Wake, and provided a haunting and evocative soundscape as well. Stone has composed music and songs for several of the group's best shows. Now Buntport has announced it will be sharing its theater space with Stone's new company, Screw Tooth. Starting in August, the two companies will alternate program slots — and who can predict what the melding of these fertile imaginations will bring?

As any rock historian could tell you, teaming up with an orchestra can sometimes be a thin attempt to disguise a creative lag. But in the case of DeVotchKa and the Colorado Symphony, the pairing has produced an inspired, brilliantly structured melding of two aesthetics that relies less on contrast than it does on similarities. With DeVotchKa's sentimental landscapes and the Symphony's climactic rises and powerful, sweeping descents, performances make for a kind of epic storytelling, supplanted with enough heart to afford the grand housing of so many instruments without sounding bombastic. After offering a preview of the material at Boettcher Concert Hall, the players reconvened at Red Rocks last fall, and the results were captured for a live album, which was released in December.

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