Best of Denver

The Ten Best New Bars in Denver in 2018

The High Atlas cocktail at Death & Co., one of the ten best new bars of 2018.
The High Atlas cocktail at Death & Co., one of the ten best new bars of 2018. Danielle Lirette
The growing diversity of Denver's bar scene may be eclipsing even its restaurants. The city's cocktail game has never been better, and a whole new band of specialists have added taprooms where drinkers can take deep dives into ciders, spirits and other enticing beverages from around the world. Here are our picks for the ten best new bars in Denver, in alphabetical order.

click to enlarge Attention to classics like the martini made American Bonded a great 2018 addition. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Attention to classics like the martini made American Bonded a great 2018 addition.
Danielle Lirette

American Bonded

2706 Larimer Street
303-942-1201

Three of Denver's bar elite teamed up to open American Bonded this spring. Sean Kenyon of Williams & Graham; Kevin Burke, formerly of Ste. Ellie and Colt & Gray; and Justin Anthony of Matchbox combined their talents and sensibilities to add a welcoming and inexpensive option to Larimer Street. While Kenyon and Burke have previously soared in the stratosphere of craft cocktails, here they stay grounded in the classics while presenting a wide range of American whiskeys. Anthony's populist leanings at Matchbox get a slight bump, but not at the expense of still feeling overwrought or exclusive. americanbonded.com
click to enlarge Big Trouble is best after dark. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Big Trouble is best after dark.
Danielle Lirette

Big Trouble (Inside Zeppelin Station)

3501 Wazee Street
720-460-1978

How do you know when you're in Big Trouble? Just ascend the sweeping wooden staircase until you see a sign that reads "You're in Big Trouble." This mezzanine-level bar is Kiss + Ride's more upscale counterpart, boasting an Asian-alley theme and some almost futuristic drink options. The highball, for example, is served from a Suntory Japanese whisky tower that dispenses perfectly chilled sparking water and whisky over a chunky, rectangular ice cube that's so clear it all but vanishes once submerged. Neon signs and a DJ booth render a vibe somewhere between a 1980s HBO soft-core flick and a vibrant Tokyo street corner at night. zeppelinstation.com/big-trouble
Booz Hall is like a food hall — only for booze. - MARK ANTONATION
Booz Hall is like a food hall — only for booze.
Mark Antonation

Booz Hall

2845 Walnut Street
boozhall.com

Booz Hall is the first of its kind: a collection of several tasting rooms for Colorado wine and spirits producers under one roof. The opening lineup comprises Jackrabbit Hill Winery, 3 Hundred Days of Shine, Rising Sun Distillery, Woods High Mountain Distillery and State 38 Distillery, all offering samples of their wares, plus mixed drinks and special pours hard to come by elsewhere in the city. Taste your way through the delights of Colorado's boozy variety — from Hotchkiss to Salida, Golden to Monument — without ever leaving the building.
boozhall.com
The Dead Battery Club wants you to come in and unplug. - MARK ANTONATION
The Dead Battery Club wants you to come in and unplug.
Mark Antonation

Dead Battery Club

2420 17th Street
303-477-2444

Dead Battery Club straddles the line between everyman and elegant in a long, narrow space that asks you to unplug and unwind. Although the DBC — operated by the same team that brought Carbon Cafe & Bar and Habit Doughnut Dispensary to Platte Street — is an all-day cafe, cocktail seekers will want to hit happy hour, when the joint fills with office workers, service-industry folks and neighbors for a casual and lively time. deadbatterydenver.com
click to enlarge Death & Co's bar blends seamlessly with the lobby of the Ramble Hotel. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Death & Co's bar blends seamlessly with the lobby of the Ramble Hotel.
Danielle Lirette

Death & Co.

1280 25th Street
720-330-2660
Surround yourself in the opulence and luxury of the Ramble Hotel while sipping a cleverly crafted cocktail at the bar or in a cushy lounge seat at Death & Co, which was founded in New York City and planted its second flag in Denver in May. Choose from a drinks menu that starts with "Fresh and Lively" and moves through "Light and Playful" and "Elegant and Timeless" before landing on "Rich and Comforting," just like the bar itself. deathandcompany.com
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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation