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Experimental Cocktails Now Pouring in RiNo Alleyway

Find the entrance to Greenlight Lab off the alley behind Denver Central Market

The small bar will serve as a testing ground for LIVstudio’s restaurant and bar design, as well as for cocktails
LIVstudio/Greelight Lab

With the addition of RiNo’s newest cocktail bar, Greenlight Lab, the alleyway between Larimer and Walnut Streets is becoming its own drinking destination. Bars from Matchbox to 10 Barrel back right up against this soon-to-be pedestrian stretch. Across the way, Gerard’s Pool Hall opened earlier this fall with a rear-facing, dare-you-to-find-us entrance.

Now Greenlight, with its three booths, four-person bar, and single high communal table, is taking the clandestine movement slightly further. A literal green light bulb sits above the door next to the back exit of Denver Central Market. If it’s on, well, you get the gist. Inside a mini showroom-cum-bar is LIVstudio’s design testing ground for its Denver bar and restaurant projects. Owner Brandon Anderson’s existing clients include Denver Central Market, Il Posto, Concourse, Biju’s, and Bar Fausto, among others.

At Greenlight Lab (built next to the design studio’s offices), furniture, wall fixtures, and artwork will be swapped in and out. Customers can rate the look and feel of their surroundings on notecards provided in check holders. Some pieces will even be raffled off for customers providing feedback.

Some furniture will be raffled off to critiquing customers
LIVstudio/Greenlight Lab

This process extends to the beverage program, where bartenders Dustin Lawlor and Kaya Bersto (both veterans of Denver’s The Kitchen) are creating “beta” cocktail recipes. A Red Leg Brewing Howitzer Amber ale is mixed with cognac, strawberry, dill, and lime, and served inside the beer can with a beer sidecar, for example.

Lawlor and Bersto ask for customer feedback on drinks, so they can adjust accordingly, moving cocktails off the menu or onto an “approved” permanent position. So far approved drinks include an old fashioned, and a rum cocktail with pineapple, sage, lemon, brown sugar, and soda water. The constantly changing menu is balanced by a small beer and wine list, charcuterie plates with burrata from Il Posto, and truffles by Temper Chocolates.

For the grand opening Tuesday, November 7, the bar is dark all over in grays and blacks, with plush crescent booths and the feel of a speakeasy. But who knows what it will be like a month from now.

The Denver Central Market

2669 Larimer Street, , CO 80205 Visit Website