Castle Rock may be synonymous with outlet stores, but there are several reasons to rethink your preconceived notions about the city just 35 minutes south of downtown Denver. One of those reasons: Sinners & Saints
. This theologically-themed Castle Rock cocktail bar located in the nave of a converted 1874 church at 221 Perry Street opened in 2019 as part of Ecclesia Market
. With a focus on Prohibition-style cocktails and a mission to change the landscape of the restaurant culture in Castle Rock, the bar has brought new energy to a previously listless part of town.
The area surrounding Sinners & Saints in downtown Castle Rock has blossomed over the past few years, with local art, dining and a metaphysical goods and witchcraft store. Ecclesia Market itself is home to four restaurants: Romo’s Street Tacos, Brit Stop Café, Garlic & Spice Kitchen, and Fish & Company. There’s also a gold dealer called Urban Gold Miners and Sudden Fiction, a bookstore tucked into a corner that's stacked to the rafters with new and used books, which also offers freshly made pastries and homemade kombucha on tap, like a Harry Potter-esque magic shop.
The beekeeper cocktail is a play on the classic with the addition of smoky mezcal.
Soft daylight shines into the comfortable, lounge-style seating space at Sinners & Saints. “Since we’re striving to serve the best Prohibition-style craft cocktails around," general manager Kelly Preister says, "I suggest you stick to our specialty list, The 10 Commandments" — an apropos moniker for a bar menu served in a former church.
Each drink is inspired by classic cocktails that are given special Sinners & Saints twists, like the Blackberry Gimlet with St. George gin on the rocks, ripe blackberries muddled into fresh lime and a garden-fresh rosemary garnish. The Hard Eight, the bar's take on an old-fashioned, is made with Law’s bourbon over a big ice cube with fresh ginger, a squirt of lemon juice, local honey and an aromatic sprig of mint.
Those familiar with the classic bee's knees will recognize the ingredients in the Beekeeper, although this variation on a gin, lemon and honey cocktail also includes smoky notes from mezcal.
The Sinners & Saints craft cocktails are a draw on their own, but this spot is about even more than what’s going on behind the bar; it's also a big part of the growing local community.
One outlet for connecting with the community is through the art covering the walls. "We work in collaboration with a local organization called CRAC
[Castle Rock Art Cooperative] to feature a couple up-and-coming local artists,” Preister explains. “We get new artists each month, feature their work in the lounge, and every last Thursday we host an art reception and have a big party.” Along with the monthly art reception, Sinners & Saints also hosts local music shows, cocktail classes and other events.
While much of the art rotates, one permanent fixture is the twelve-foot tall, fifteen-foot wide theologically themed mural by local artist Tony Achilles. It depicts angels and cherubs in bright heavenly blues and whites on the left staving off the reds, oranges and black surrounding the demons and fiends populating the right side of the enormous painting that greets every visitor from the wall behind where the church’s pulpit once stood.
While the bar does have a small menu of late-night snacks, food is not the focus. Instead, the establishment leans into its place as a part of the Ecclesia Market community of businesses, which operate collectively and cooperatively. “They provide the food, we provide the fun,” Preister says of the neighboring eateries.
So whether it's food, fun, drinks or all of the above that you're praying to find, reconsider Castle Rock — outlet shopping optional.
Sinners & Saints is located at 221 Perry Street and is open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight,t and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit ecclesiamarket.com/sinners-saints.