Bars

Haunted Bar Honor Farm Taking Over Fuel & Iron in October...Permanently

A twelve-foot-tall skeleton will be a staple at Honor Farm.
A twelve-foot-tall skeleton will be a staple at Honor Farm. Honor Farm/Instagram
If you Google the most haunted bars in Denver, the building at 1526 Blake Street comes up at the top of the list, and that reputation will be fully embraced when Honor Farm, A Haunted Spirit House opens in early October.

This will be the third concept to open in the space in three years. In 2019, Brass Tacks debuted in the former home of the Blake Street Vault (and American Costume Company for decades before that); it shuttered last October following a tough time during the pandemic.

In April, real estate brokers Zach Cytryn and Nathan Stern purchased the circa 1863 building and opened the Pueblo-themed Fuel & Iron. The two are opening a food hall in Pueblo under the same name, and hoped the bar would be a way to introduce Denver to the culture of Pueblo. "We thought it would be great cross-promotion, but it's actually been confusing for people," Cytryn admits.

In July, Lexi Healy and Veronica Ramos, co-owners of the Electric Cure, an eclectic Edgewater bar, opened a gay pirate ship-themed tiki bar called Hell or High Water in the mezzanine above Fuel & Iron. Cytryn and Stern were Healy and Ramos's real estate agents; the duo helped them land the Electric Cure space. "Zach and Nathan took a chance on us and helped us make our dream real," Healy says. "They have my heart for doing that for us, like they do for so many other start-ups."

Now all four are joining forces to reboot the first-floor space with a new, ghostly theme. "They trust in our chaos," Healy adds. "I wouldn't partner with anyone else."
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Fuel & Iron will become Honor Farm in October.
Nate Day
"Lexi and Veronica know how to create cool concepts and cool worlds," Cytryn says. "We're excited for this new direction."

While Hell or High Water will continue its pirate-and-tiki focus upstairs, Honor Farm will emphasize a very different part of Pueblo culture. According to the City of Pueblo website, Honor Farm was the name of "part of the Colorado State Insane Asylum during the early days. Dairy and other agricultural operations were conducted by patients as a function of the hospital." Although the farm itself is no more, the land is rumored to be haunted and has allegedly drawn satanic happenings over the years. Notes Healy, "It has a really dark past" — none of which the bar intends to make light of, she adds.

Instead, she wants to create a space that has a "What We Do in the Shadows vibe," with a focus on 1526 Blake Street's haunted reputation. "We all have felt and experienced things in the space, so it's absolutely active and haunted and weird," she says. "We want to lay into that."

Healy has assembled a team of seasoned industry vets to run the show. "These are all people I've known for years," she notes. A twelve-foot-tall skeleton has already been acquired for the decor, and artist Dan Levinson is updating his Pueblo-themed mural with some spooky additions. "There will be a bunch of giant decorations mixed with vintage stuff sourced from estate sales, antique shops and Facebook marketplace," Healy adds.
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The mural inside will be redesigned by the original artist.
Fuel & Iron Bar
Assisting with the decor is Sean Herman of Wicker Manor, a haunted mine experience that will open for the season in October. Unlike seasonal haunted houses, though, Honor Farm will stay spooky year-round.

As at Hell or High Water, there will be some phallic tiki touches at Honor Farm, though they'll be more subtle — except for the penis-shaped waffle maker that will be used to make "cock waffles" during an all-day Sunday brunch, Healy says.

While some Fuel & Iron staples like the Slopper and the Grinder will stay, chef Jimmy Wanless is taking full creative control, with a fresh menu in the works. "We're focusing on the service industry, and there will be late-night food," Healy says. The bar program will be heavy on craft cocktails (expect liquid nitrogen and drinks lit on fire), and the plan is to hold a lot of special events, including drag brunches hosted by Lacey Fauxx Vanderpump every Sunday in October starting October 9, and Ghoul's Night Out Trivia on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month.

The transition will begin slowly, with the new cocktail menu rolling out next week. Then the bar will close for several days for its ghoulish makeover, before reopening in early October.

Unlike the Electric Cure and Hell or High Water, Honor Farm is a large space with a lot of room for Healy and her team to play with. "I'm pumped about it," she concludes. "This will give me the chance to do everything I've wanted to do."
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Molly Martin is the Westword Food & Drink editor. She’s been writing about the dining scene in Denver since 2013, and was eating her way around the city long before that. She enjoys long walks to the nearest burrito joint and nights spent sipping cocktails on Colfax.
Contact: Molly Martin