Bars

Seven of Denver's Coziest Venues

Syntax hosted a dance party to celebrate Thanksgiving 2016.
Syntax hosted a dance party to celebrate Thanksgiving 2016. Scott Lentz
September's here, and while there are still plenty of outdoor concerts to check out, it's time to start planning trips to some of the indoor venues Denver has to offer. If you prefer a mellow, low-key environment over a three-day Red Rocks run, check out our picks for some of the coziest spots in the Mile High City, where you’re sure to find great music and make some new friends.

click to enlarge Syntax hosted a dance party to celebrate Thanksgiving 2016. - SCOTT LENTZ
Syntax hosted a dance party to celebrate Thanksgiving 2016.
Scott Lentz
Syntax Physic Opera
554 South Broadway

A physic opera is a medicine show, and it's clear that Syntax Physic Opera strives to deliver a tonic for music lovers' souls. The venue is decorated in art, the kitchen serves up food during concerts, and the bartenders are always quick to pour a drink. On any given night, you might find an experimental jazz act, a funk dance party or a songwriter's open mic, making this a popular hangout for the local music scene.

click to enlarge Emerald Siam at the Walnut Room, December 2016. - JOHN KOONTZ
Emerald Siam at the Walnut Room, December 2016.
John Koontz
Walnut Room
3131 Walnut Street

Pizza, beer and live music. Enough said.

Los Lobos played Ophelia's Electric Soapbox. - ADAM PERRY
Los Lobos played Ophelia's Electric Soapbox.
Adam Perry
Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox
1215 Twentieth Street

Ophelia’s doesn’t limit music to the nighttime. You can dine and listen to live music for brunch, dinner or late at night. This venue boasts a downstairs dance floor, with plenty of room upstairs to grab a seat or stand along the balcony railing, ensuring that everybody gets a good view of the stage.


click to enlarge Herb's has it all. - JUSTIN CRIADO
Herb's has it all.
Justin Criado
Herb’s 
2057 Larimer Street

Herb's looks like just another LoDo bar from the entrance, but inside, it boasts a stage where bands play everything from jazz to funk. This venue is owned and run by musicians, and there’s hardly a night during the week that doesn't offer live entertainment.

click to enlarge The Squire Lounge welcomes an ever-changing crowd on Colfax. - SARAH MCGILL
The Squire Lounge welcomes an ever-changing crowd on Colfax.
Sarah McGill
Squire Lounge
1800 East Colfax Avenue

The Squire Lounge is a well-loved bar on East Colfax with a storied past. It's home to music open-mic nights, comedy, performances by local musicians and more. Since its remodel in 2013, a shift in the types of crowds that flock to the Squire is noticeable. But it’s still hard to beat the ambience and comfort this particular dive provides.

click to enlarge Local 46 is home to both beer and live music. - SARAH MCGILL
Local 46 is home to both beer and live music.
Sarah McGill
Local 46
4586 Tennyson Street

Deep in the Berkeley neighborhood, you’ll stumble upon Local 46, where your thirst for beer and music will be satisfied. Not only does the bar host open-mic nights every Monday and karaoke on Thursdays, but you'll find live music here throughout the weekend. There’s also a spacious beer garden out back, too — a definite plus.

click to enlarge Singer-songwriter YaSi performed at the Bakery in June. - RILEY COWING
Singer-songwriter YaSi performed at the Bakery in June.
Riley Cowing
The Bakery
2132 Market Street

This DIY venue takes the cake on cozy, despite being surrounded by LoDo's buzzing bar scene. The quality of entertainment showcased at the Bakery is off the charts. Art, comedy, music – you name it, the Bakery's got it. Check out the venue's Facebook page to be in the know about the space's next show.
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Riley Cowing has been writing with Westword since July 2016. She is originally from Kansas City and graduated from the journalism school at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She enjoys connecting with local artists, drinking all types of espresso and loves any excuse to watch The Devil Wears Prada.
Contact: Riley Cowing