Hey Denver, did you know it's winter? I know it must be hard to tell with all the blue skies and sixty-degree days, but technically we're still in the dead of the chilly season. We've rounded up a list of the coziest music venues in Denver, the steamiest, most intimate, "sorry I touched your butt, it was an accident" venues.
10. Cold Crush
2700 Larimer Street
This RiNo venue has a huge draw for its hip-hop nights and occasional electronic shows that pack as many concert-goers as possible, no matter what day of the week it is. On the patio's south-facing wall, an ever-changing mural facade will feature work by rotating local artists. Look for a hip-hop centric lineup in Westword's music listings.
9. Syntax Physic Opera
554 South Broadway
This gem off South Broadway was voted our best new venue of 2015, and it doesn't get much cozier than this. "Physic Opera is sort of a Latin phrase that the insiders would call a medicine show," owner Jonathan Bitz told Westword. "The idea is that it is a medicine show — that everything is medicine, from the food to the drinks to the art to the music to the conversation, hopefully."
8. Globe Hall
4483 Logan Street
Globe Hall is a new restaurant venue with an old charm, as you still feel the echoes of its past as the dive bar and venue called Sidewinder. Globe Hall has bomb barbecue now and even better music acts to go with it. The name may reference the whole world, but the space lets you get up close and personal.
7. Ophelia's Electric Soapbox
1215 20th Street
The history of Ophelia's makes it one of the sexiest new restaurant venues to have opened up in 2015. A tiny stage on the first floor feels grandiose as it opens up to the balcony of the second story, making it the perfect spot to have an intimate dinner-and-a-show date with your sweetheart. The vibe of this "gastro-brothel" is always sexy, and the musical acts that Ophelia's has been booking — upcoming shows include the Pharcyde! — will blow your mind.
6. Bar Bar
2060 Champa Street
They don't make 'em like Bar Bar anymore. This teeny dive off of Broadway and Champa Street, straddling the line of LoDo but feeling a bit more like Five Points, offers some of the coolest alt-shows in the city.
608 East 13th Avenue
Pearl's took over the former Beauty Bar location on 13th Avenue, and its music programming is thriving. Co-owners Mike Barnhart and Tucker Schwab updated the sound compared to the old space. Pearl's now has, as Jon Soloman writes, "a quadrophonic feel during club nights, with sound coming from all directions, but they'll also have the ability to turn off the speakers in the back of the room when bands are playing." Amazing recent shows include a David Bowie Tribute Night.
4. hi dive
7 South Broadway
The hi-dive's history is pretty neato: The bar was once Ellsworth Tavern, 7 South, and then Quixote's, and the stage was added on in 1982 to make it a proper venue. Previously owned by Matt LeBarge, it was purchased by Josh Terry and Matty Clark in 2012, and quickly became one of the coolest spots in town. The rest, you could say, is history. On a good, cozy night, the shows at hi-dive shake the entire block.
3. Larimer Lounge
2721 Larimer Street
Another favorite venue, Larimer Lounge offers a small yet accessible musical option for Denverites. The history of this RiNo original is a vast one, and now its back room stage hosts everything from hip-hop to Red Bull Sound Select shows. Check out our slideshow from one of the most packed shows in recent memory, Big Freedia (which just so happens to be slightly NSFW).
2. Lost Lake Lounge
3602 East Colfax Avenue
Lost Lake Lounge has a lovely history, one that you feel immediately upon entering the cozy venue. Formerly the Bull Dog Bar, Lost Lake has gone through many changes but always maintained its Colfax-y charm. Owned by Scott Campbell since December of 2013, the venue has hosted a roster of shows that packs in fans, providing hot emerging bands like Diane Coffee on Tuesday, February 16, and plenty of body heat.
2701 Larimer Street
Is there a cozier place on earth than the basement venue of the Meadowlark? Among local twenty-somethings, this bar is one of the coolest spots to warm up, and also features popular regular show nights, like the Thursday dance party, The Solution on Fridays with DJ Low Key and DJ Lazy Eyez, and a longstanding and beloved open-mike night.
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