Cruise Room: Yelp/Dr. Scott C.
If you love exploring new and exciting places, then you’ll love the thrill of discovering some of the hidden bars and speakeasys in Denver. Being a hidden bar is part of the charm and appeal of many of these places, while being able to find them and get into them is the appeal for patrons.
We’re about to let you in on a few secrets as we take you on a quick tour of our top five hidden bars and speakeasies in Denver.
You’ll find B&GC located in the Halcyon, a hotel in Cherry Creek. Go around the back and you’ll see an unmarked door with a light above it. There’s a golden antique doorbell under a sign that reads “Stair 3”. Once you ring the bell, a hostess will come out and ask if you have a reservation. In order to make a reservation, you need to text after 3p.m. on the day you want to come. The number can be found on the bar’s webpage. In fact, that’s the only thing you’ll find there! That’s how much of a secret this place is. Once you’re in, a low-lit area complete with bartenders who will make a unique drink based on your preferences awaits you. In case you were wondering, there is speculation that B&GC stands for Boys and Girls Club, but there’s no confirmation on that!
While Ste. Ellie isn’t as covert as B&GC, it is still considered a hidden bar in Denver. You can only get in by entering the Colt & Gray restaurant on Platte Street. Inside the restaurant, you’ll find a glass door that heads down to the basement. Go down the stairs and you’ve reached Ste. Ellie. Once you’re inside, enjoy the mood lighting as well as the crescent-shaped booths. Browse the menu of seasonal cocktails to find your favorite combination. Many of the cocktails have fun names like “Fork in the Road” and “Pennies from Heaven”. Grab a seat at the bar and watch the bartenders make these unique cocktails.
The Cruise Room
While you don’t need any secret passwords to get into The Cruise Room, its history is plenty to raise your glass to. Opening the day after Prohibition was repealed in 1933, The Cruise Room is the longest continually open bar in Denver. It is located inside the Oxford Hotel on 17th Street.
Go inside the hotel’s main lobby, past McCormick’s Fish House & Bar, and you’ll find The Cruise Room. The bar itself is shaped like a wine bottle and features 10 unique panels. They each have an image from a different country around the world. The Cruise Room was made famous for its martinis, so be sure to try one when you stop in!
Located in Larimer Square among several other businesses, The Green Russell is tucked away, but not too hard to get to. Follow the sign down a flight of stairs that says “Wednesday’s Pies” (it’s a real pie shop). From there, someone from the pie shop will show you the doors to The Green Russell. Once you’re in, enjoy the atmosphere of this 1920’s style speakeasy.
But there are some rules. If you have the urge to talk on your cell phone, take the conversation into the telephone booth that’s there; if not keep that phone in your pocket until you leave! Also, limit your group to no more than six people so there’s room for everyone.
The Green Russell has a lengthy cocktail list so it may take you awhile to decide on which drink to order. It is known for its updated takes on some classic drinks but also has signature cocktails like the “Mexican Elvis” and “Bed of Roses”.
Enter through the ice cream shop “Frozen Matter” and go through an unmarked stainless steel door to get to Retrograde. There is no signage for this speakeasy so you really need to know where you’re going. You may think you’re entering a freezer by the looks of the doorway but one step in and you’ll see this 1960s speakeasy throwback complete with very cool purple lighting.
The menu includes unique drinks such as the “Donkey Hotay” which is a mix of vodka, amontillado sherry, green Chartreuse, lime, ginger, and cava. If that’s not your fancy then maybe you’d like to try the “Little Green Ghouls, Buddy!”, a combination of gin, Dolin Blanc, lime, cucumber ice, burned rosemary and tonic. As a bonus, you can also bring in your treats from the ice cream parlor into the bar!
While you may need to do some detective work to find these speakeasies and bars, the experience will be well worth it! Cheers!