Secret entrances lead to dimly lit lounges where you can indulge in your favorite libations from classic cocktails to modern concoctions. These secret bars evoke the secrecy of the Prohibition era right in the heart of modern-day Denver.
If you’re interested in visiting a modern-day speak easy, the ‘Mile High City’ is one of the best places to do it. The city’s bartenders are some of the best in the business and the patrons are a blend of tourists and regulars. Peek behind the false bookshelf, ring the doorbell on an alleyway wall and learn how to speak easy, Denver style.
Denver is known for its creative food and drink scene. They have their unique take on Green Chili (try it at La Loma), more than 100 breweries (like The Great Divide), and a number of hidden bars serving classic cocktails. In the 1920s the nondescript entrances and quiet atmosphere were necessary to avoid detection (‘speakeasy’ refers to the need to ‘speak easy’ or ‘softly’ while inside). Today, it adds a touch of mystique to your night out and creates the perfect atmosphere to enjoy an expertly crafted Martini or Old Fashioned. We’ve sorted them by neighborhood, so you can easily plan your visit.
Named after Reynard the Fox, a trickster in European folklore, this lower downtown Denver speakeasy encourages you to have your own night of mischief. Their spacious lounge spans multiple rooms and offers incredible views of the city. With plenty of room and large tables, it’s a great option for large groups. Lean into the altitude with an Alpine Sour or warm up after a winter’s day with a marshmallow-topped Cozy Camper.
Address: 1616 Market St
Getting In: You can find Reynard Social tucked away on the 6th floor of the Luxury Thompson Denver Hotel. Just take the elevator up and check in with the host.
Run For The Roses
Run for the Roses’ invitingly eclectic style includes exposed bricks, touches of floral, and photographs in unique frames. Their cocktail menu is a deck of playing cards (one card for each drink), and there are always a few seasonal options. Sit at the bar if you want some guidance on how to choose or settle into a booth and pair your drink with their parlor snacks, such as caviar and deviled eggs.
Address: 1801 Blake St #10
Getting In: Head to the Denver Milk Market in LoDo’s microdistrict, the Dairy Block. Opposite the Milk Market’s entrance, you’ll find a simple door; go through it and down the elevator on the other side, down one floor. You should be met with a corridor that leads to the Run for the Roses door.
Hundreds of tourists and commuters use the historic Union Station building every day but few know that there’s a hidden lounge on the mezzanine where you can watch the Great Hall below. Cooper Lounge’s cream-coloured decor is accented with gold touches and simple floral arrangements that provide a sophisticated, elegant feel. Their Espresso Martini comes highly recommended (by both patrons and the bar itself) and each drink is served on a silver tray with nuts or chocolate.
Address: 1701 Wynkoop St
Getting In: Head to their reception desk in the Great Hall (you can find it near Amtrak on the south side). From there, you’ll be escorted upstairs to the lounge.
The Cruise Room
A vintage jukebox provides the background music at Denver’s longest-running bar, The Cruise Room, which “officially” opened in 1933, the day after Prohibition ended. This bar evokes the enchanting mystique of the Prohibition era with red lighting, vintage touches and a stunning Art Deco aesthetic. This is the perfect place to try some classic drinks, in particular, their Martini. After all, they’ve spent the better part of a century perfecting it.
Address: 1600 17th St
Getting In: You can find the Cruise Room in the Oxford Hotel next door to the hotel’s Urban Farmer restaurant.
North Capitol Hill
Retrograde is one of the most popular Denver speakeasy bars. Hidden behind a functioning ice cream shop called Frozen Matter, its interior is more modern than some other speakeasies with a fun retro-futuristic space theme. Multi-coloured lights illuminate the drinks behind the bar while warm overheads and glittering fairy lights dot the ceiling. It’s discreet, relaxed and focuses on creative, artisan cocktails made from the best ingredients.
Address: 530 E 19th Ave, Denver
Getting In: Walk past the counter toward the freezer door, Flip the light switch and wait for staff to meet you and check your ID. The staff will then prepare your seats before returning to escort you to your table
Millers & Rossi Speakeasy and Bar
Graffiti, painting, and plants line the walls at this fun, laid-back speakeasy hidden behind a tiki bar. A bar hidden inside a bar might seem superfluous, but you can start your night by trying the tropical spirits and coloured lights in the Ohana Room before retiring to the warmly lit, relaxed speakeasy. Here, their bartenders can serve you a range of cocktails including a few specialities like a unique Smoked Old Fashioned and their Rum, vanilla, and lime concoction, A Good Cry.
Address: 3542 Walnut St, Denver
Getting In: Head to the back of the Ohana Room where there’s a large section of wall covered in greenery. The left side of this wall is actually a secret door that opens onto Millers & Rossi.
Luci’s Shambles & Revisions
Sinful. Devilish. Luscious. Descend into the dungeon that is Luci’s Shambles and Provisions where you can find indulgently delicious cocktails and wickedly entertaining performances including comedy shows and burlesque. They have a free show every Wednesday (but seating is limited so RSVPs are necessary). Try Lucifer’s Wake Up Call, which marries vodka and coffee, or their vodka martini with a twist of lemon, known as the Betty White.
Address: 1553 Platte St Ste 110
Getting In: Head through the door to the right of Modi’s bar and restaurant. You’ll find the bar in the basement downstairs.
Williams & Graham
Tales of the Cocktail named Williams & Graham the Best American Cocktail Bar in 2015 and just one drink will be enough to show you why. Once a year the team behind Williams & Graham take an international trip together to discover the best spirits and liqueurs. This dedication to delivering the best of the best speaks to the passion for hospitality and mixology that’s on display every night. The interior is cozy and intimate, the perfect extension of its bookstore exterior.
Address: 3160 Tejon St
Getting In: First, head to the Williams & Graham bookstore. The attendant will write your name on a card, and you’ll be able to go behind one of the bookcases and into the bar.
Peaks Lounge isn’t just one of the best speakeasies in Denver, it’s also one of the best viewpoints in the city. Settle into the chill, cozy atmosphere and enjoy stunning views of downtown Denver and the Rocky Mountains. They use locally sourced spirits in their wide selection of house cocktails and be sure to sample one of their decadent desserts.
Address: 650 15th St 27th floor
Getting In: From the main lobby of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, take the elevator up to the top floor.
Perhaps the most hidden bar in Denver, BG&C is also one of the most popular. Reservations are almost mandatory, and they can only be made by text (you can find the number on their website). Designed to evoke the feeling of a post-World War II cocktail bar, the atmosphere is best summed up as cool and classy. Of course, the drinks are excellent too and they encourage you to ask your bartender to create a bespoke off-menu creation based on your tastes.
Address: 249 Columbine St
Getting In: It’s part of the Halcyon Hotel, but the entrance is outside. Head down the alley between 2nd and 3rd Avenue you’ll find a sign reading ‘Stair 3’ next to an antique brass doorbell. Ring the bell and wait.
Just Outside Denver
In the heart of downtown Golden (roughly 30 minutes from Denver, the Golden Moon is both a speakeasy and a distillery tasting room. They make their own spirits (available for purchase including gin, whisky, rum and absinthe. You can easily spend a few hours here, enjoying everything from the pre-Prohibition classics to modern-day innovations.
Getting In: Walk down Miner’s Alley (off 12th Street) until you reach a small patio, likely with some patrons sitting outside. The door next to the patio will lead you inside the bar.
Speakeasy Vibes (Our Favorite, Easier To Find Bars)
Tatarian is a casual, intimate and modern bar in Cherry Creek. They’re all about bringing you delicious craft cocktails without the extra fuss.
Address: 4024 Tennyson St
Union Lodge No. 1
Where Tatarian is modern, Union Lodge No. 1 is a throwback. Designed to transport you back to the atmosphere of 19th century, pre-Prohibition American bars, this bar values perfecting the classics.
Address: 1543 Champa Street
The Clayton Members Club and Hotel underwent a revamp in 2022 and the Five Nines speakeasy was replaced by the Chez Roc piano lounge. Inspired by El Morocco, the historic celeb hotspot of the mid-20th century, Chez Roc pairs delicious cocktails with live music performed by local pianists.
Address: 233 Clayton St
Tribute: Green Russell
Stalwart of the Denver speakeasy scene, Green Russell is gone but not forgotten. Antique furnishings packed together set the scene for the nightly hum of conversation and clinking glasses. It was located in LoDo at 1422 Larimer St Denver. Sadly, Larimer Square was bought by an investment company in 2020 and in 2022 they announced they needed the space for a boiler room. The Green Russell had its last hurrah on New Year’s Eve 2022.
Address: 1422 Larimer St