Danielle Lirette

The Bitter Bar

Facebook/Bitter Bar
Cocktail culture has thoroughly inundated America, but in 2011, when Boulder’s Bitter Bar opened as the late-night speakeasy alter-ego of the now-defunct Happy Noodle House, there was no other game like it in metro Denver. Bartender James Lee built a quick following with his precise drinks — be they long-forgotten classics or inventive creations — and bought the place outright in 2014. He continues to work obsessively toward creating the perfect cocktail for every customer, as well as maintaining Bitter Bar’s position as one of the best venues in the state for a cocktail.