Happy Place: Coohills, 1400 Wewatta Street, 303-623-5700.
The Hours: Monday through Friday from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.
The Deals: $3 beers; $4 cocktails and wines by the glass; $5 specialty cocktails; $3-$9 food specials.
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The Digs: Coohills was born in November, a mod eatery in a small enclave of LoDo that has yet to be overrun by kitchens and watering holes. The space feels like a metropolitan loft, with sleek and simple furniture backed up to sky-high windows and subtle earthy hues throughout. The lighting is natural and organic, and the space feels urban without being overly trendy. The golden, U-shaped bar holds ground on the northeast side, while the sprawling, sophisticated dining area opens to guests along the Platte River.
The Verdict: We furiously battled traffic to meet a friend for happy hour, and finding a place to park within three blocks of Coohills proved to be equally annoying. Luckily, it was a lovely day for a stroll in the sunshine.
The bar at Coohills welcomed us with warm, boozy arms, and our worries were soon a thing of the past. We ordered two of the Consider This, a pink, citrus-laden cocktail that proved neither too sweet nor too stiff -- a dangerous combination in our book. The melted flatbread, a minimalistic combination of tallegio and ricotta cheeses, was the perfect base for our spring cocktails. We followed the flatbread with Coohills' påté plate, which offers a creamy, gamey slice of the house chicken-liver påté alongside a slice of traditional country påté. Soon, our bellies were happy and full. Our bartender was chatty and friendly and knew when not to intrude on our conversation. Would we return to Coohills for drinks and snacks? Absolutely.
Overall Grade: A