The Best Colorado Tiki Bars for Toasting Jimmy Buffett | Westword

The Best Colorado Tiki Bars for Toasting to Jimmy Buffett

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The world lost Jimmy Buffett this weekend. If you want to get out and celebrate the late singer, you don't need to waste away in Margaritaville. Even this landlocked state has some great bars where you can take a beachy break and enjoy a tropical drink.

So break out that Hawaiian shirt, put on your favorite sunglasses, and head out for cocktails that would do Jimmy Buffett proud.


218 South Broadway
You can’t talk tiki in Denver without starting at Adrift, which has been open since 2012 and got a makeover and new ownership in 2016 after being purchased by Paul Tamburello and Loren Martinez of Little Man Ice Cream. Pair your booze with island-inspired eats like Spam musubi, loco moco and jerk chicken. There are some solid happy-hour deals ($5 mystery shots? Sure!) and a solid selection of tiki classics such as mai tais and Painkillers — or go big with punch bowls that serve two to four people.
Lakewood's only distillery offers tiki cocktails.
Ballmer Peak Distillery/Instagram

Ballmer Peak Distillery

12347 West Alameda Parkway, Lakewood
The cozy tasting room at Lakewood's only distillery isn't as tiki as the other spots on the list when it comes to decor, but the libations themselves are the standout. While Ballmer Peak offers flights of its spirits, classic cocktails and some creative concoctions, it also has an entire list of tiki specialties, from the painkiller and the mai tai to the Coffee Grog, a mix of spiced rum, coconut cream, lime juice, house orange liqueur and Venture Roastery coffee liqueur. On Tuesdays, get all the tiki cocktails for $1 off.

Castaways Cove/Instagram
Castaways Cove

100 South Park Avenue, Unit C102, Breckenridge
At 9,600 feet in elevation, this could be the highest tiki bar in the country. Castaways is located in the basement of the River Mountain Lodge and replaced the former tenant, Tiki Mana, in November 2019. Along with piña coladas, mai tais and the Man in the Yellow Hat (made with banana, obviously), this tiki retreat specializes in a cocktail that's ideal for cold weather days: hot buttered rum. It also offers a full food menu with Hawaiian-inspired fare like Spam musubi, coconut shrimp, and mochiko chicken with mac salad.
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Keep it weird at the Electric Cure.
Molly Martin

The Electric Cure & Velvet Lounge

5350 West 25th Avenue, Edgewater
While Adrift is a Denver tiki OG, this place — motto: "Drink rum, stay weird" — opened in 2021. Co-owners Lexi Healy and Veronica Ramos are industry vets, but this was their first venture as owners, and they had so much fun opening it that they've since spread out. Along with a selection of both tiki and other libations, expect the unexpected: Alpacas on the patio? Penis-shaped totems? Bartenders wearing shark heads? Yelp reviews accusing the place of Satanism displayed proudly outside? It’s all fair game here. Bonus: no phone.
Hell or High Water is in the mezzanine of Honor Farm.
Hell or High Water/Instagram

Hell or High Water

1526 Blake Street
In July 2022, the Electric Cure team debuted this more tiki-centric hideaway on the mezzanine level of Honor Farm, the haunted bar they're running on the main level. The theme of this small but mighty addition to Denver's bar scene: a haunted gay pirate ship. Expect even more penis totems than at the crew's original spot, plus an intimate party vibe that's unmatched in the metro area.

Sip from a conch shell in Boulder.


2018 10th Street, Boulder
This tiki bar brought the tropics to Boulder when it opened in the summer of 2019. Along with burgers, chicken sandwiches and other snacks (the jerk-marinated chicken tenders pair really well with strong, fruity cocktails), Jungle emphasizes serving cocktails in creative ways, such as the I'll Show Chu Mine, which comes in an instant noodles mug.
Swaylo's Tiki/Instagram

Swaylo's Tiki Restaurant & Bar

1315 Dry Creek Road, Longmont
The tropics came to Longmont in March 2022 when Sean and Rebecca Gafner opened Swaylo's in a former Outback Steakhouse location. "Swaylo" is a nickname for southwest Longmont (SWLO), and Swaylo's quickly became a community gathering place for beachy cocktails and food that runs the gamut from huli huli ribs and coconut oolong tea sea bass to crab rangoons and smoked octopus tostadas.
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