In our Best of Denver 2019, we selected winners in 116 Food & Drink categories. And Lady Jane, a retro lounge conjuring the breezy hangouts of the ’70s and ’80s, claimed the prize for Best New Bar.
Lady Jane is just referential enough to elicit a smile; palm trees, throw pillows and concrete breeze blocks painted white give the impression that you're walking into a Florida beach club or an episode of Charlie's Angels; throwback tunes coming from the turntable add to that atmosphere. Wood installations stained deep cherry — a small ziggurat that serves as additional seating in the front, and two inverse versions suspended from the ceiling above the entryway and bar — add warmth as well as a nod to art-deco architecture. Cushioned banquettes and basket-shaped bar chairs invite you to slump into a seat and let out a deep sigh.
Soffes has built a neighborhood bar for a neighborhood that has morphed into something other than what it once was. This is no longer the Northside; it's thoroughly LoHi, like it or not. And Lady Jane comes across as young and stylish, holding its own on the ground floor of a new apartment building where Dickinson Plaza once stood. But the place is still welcoming, comforting and casual; you can have a conversation with your bartender without it feeling forced; you can plug in and zone out near the front windows facing West 32nd Avenue or meet your friends for a first or last drink of the night. Sure, it's a little quirky, but not in a pretentious, clubby or off-putting manner.
In a city filling up with specialty taprooms, glamorous special-occasion destinations and out-of-state chains, Lady Jane slows down the pace, maintaining an air of casual, carefree fun. That's what makes it the best bar to have opened in 2018.
We'll drink to that.