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The Cruise Room near Union Station is a Denver classic
The Oxford Hotel

Head to One of These 10 Neighborhood Bars

They’re great for grabbing a drink with old friends or finding some friendly bartenders

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The Cruise Room near Union Station is a Denver classic
| The Oxford Hotel

Not at all stuffy and not dives either, these Denver neighborhood bars offer a mix of locations, styles, and surroundings. At some, the cocktails are exceptional. At others, drinks are secondary to space and company. A few will be easier for catching up over a beer, while a couple might be better for drowning out sorrows with music and dancing. From Bonnie Brae to Arvada, here are 10 easy stops for the barflies, groups, or couples.

Have another favorite neighborhood hangout? Leave it in the comments below or send a tip.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Arvada Tavern

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5707 Olde Wadsworth Blvd
Arvada, CO 80002
(303) 690-6269
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It’s tiki night every Tuesday at the Arvada Tavern, where serious themed cocktails are prepared in a historical and festive Olde Town setting. On any night of the week, though, go for the mixed drinks and small plates, and step inside the phone booth to be transported upstairs for (weekend) live music.

Arvada Tavern
Arvada Tavern
Arvada Tavern [Official Site]

2. Local 46

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4586 Tennyson St
Denver, CO 80212
(720) 524-3792
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This sprawling Berkeley beer garden and tavern provides fireside nooks for intimate conversations, and bocce, ping-pong, and cornhole for the rest of them. Check ahead for live nightly bands and weekly (Thursdays) karaoke.

3. Lady Jane

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2021 W 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211

LoHi’s newest bar is an instant classic, with Mid-century modern decor and an all-night happy hour for diners waiting on nearby restaurant tables. Try the Haunted by Waters made with tequila, Strega, lime, and cinnamon.

Lady Jane
Lady Jane
Ryan Dearth

4. Pon Pon

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2528 Walnut St
Denver, CO 80205

Part art gallery, part hipster haven, Pon Pon is an escape from the raucous scene that is Larimer Street. Go for an inconspicuous drink on a vintage couch with vinyl playing in the background. Best for a bottle of beer, or cocktails such as The Keef (double Grey Goose, Orangina) and some sparkling conversation.

5. Pony Up

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1808 Blake St
Denver, CO 80202
(720) 710-8144
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Drinkers can cozy up by the “fireplace” at this new Ballpark bar that prepares classic cocktails to pair with addictive French dips, including the Thanksgiving-themed Turkey Day with roasted turkey, Italian sausage stuffing, cranberry mayo, and gravy.

A comfy lounge section just inside the front entrance at Pony Up.
Pony Up
Jonathan Phillips

6. The Cruise Room

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1600 17th St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 628-5400
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With its new and improved drinks menu, the classic Cruise Room at The Oxford Hotel is worth a stopover this season. The downtown bar that officially opened in 1933 (the day after Prohibition ended) is back to its roots with a tour of classic cocktails made from straightforward ingredients. It’s all served in an unmatched and historically-registered setting.

A photo of a view into The Cruise room with a long bar with stools and a line of tables with soft two-person seats extending to the back of the bar
The Cruise Room
The Oxford Hotel [Official Site]

7. Wally's Wisconsin Tavern

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1417 Market St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 800-3746
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From the owners of Rhein Haus, this Larimer Square-adjacent tavern will transport Midwesterners right back home with cheese curds, brats, and a fish fry on Fridays. Order a pint from Bell’s brewery, a Riverwest Stein tall boy or an old fashioned.

<span data-author="5845">Wally’s Wisconsin Tavern </span>
Wally’s Wisconsin Tavern
Adam Larkey

8. The Thin Man

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2015 E 17th Ave
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 320-7814
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Religious paintings and paraphernalia pack this quirky 17th Street hole-in-the-wall that infuses its own vodka and hides a performance space in the basement. Hide out under the hanging lights and squeeze up to the full bar at this busy neighborhood favorite.

<span data-author="5845">The Thin Man </span>
The Thin Man
The Thin Man [Official Site]

9. Syntax Physic Opera

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554 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80209
(720) 456-7041
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While South Broadway’s neighborhood haunts are numerous (see also Skylark Lounge and Sputnik), Syntax stands out for its unique space and knack for throwing a good party. Find DJs, poets, and comedians performing alongside a strong cocktail and food program.

<span data-author="5845">Syntax Physic Opera </span>
Syntax Physic Opera
Syntax Physic Opera/Facebook

10. Campus Lounge

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701 S University Blvd
Denver, CO 80209
(720) 535-7021
Visit Website

The second revamp of this 40-year-old former hockey bar is worth the trip back to Bonnie Brae. Customers can still slide into a vinyl booth, order green chile or burgers, and watch a game on the reinstalled televisions.

<span data-author="5845">The exterior of the Campus Lounge in Bonnie Brae, including the iconic yellow and brown “Campus Lounge” sign </span>
Campus Lounge
Adam Larkey/Eater

1. The Arvada Tavern

5707 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada, CO 80002
Arvada Tavern
Arvada Tavern
Arvada Tavern [Official Site]

It’s tiki night every Tuesday at the Arvada Tavern, where serious themed cocktails are prepared in a historical and festive Olde Town setting. On any night of the week, though, go for the mixed drinks and small plates, and step inside the phone booth to be transported upstairs for (weekend) live music.

5707 Olde Wadsworth Blvd
Arvada, CO 80002

2. Local 46

4586 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212

This sprawling Berkeley beer garden and tavern provides fireside nooks for intimate conversations, and bocce, ping-pong, and cornhole for the rest of them. Check ahead for live nightly bands and weekly (Thursdays) karaoke.

4586 Tennyson St
Denver, CO 80212

3. Lady Jane

2021 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
Lady Jane
Lady Jane
Ryan Dearth

LoHi’s newest bar is an instant classic, with Mid-century modern decor and an all-night happy hour for diners waiting on nearby restaurant tables. Try the Haunted by Waters made with tequila, Strega, lime, and cinnamon.

2021 W 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211

4. Pon Pon

2528 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205

Part art gallery, part hipster haven, Pon Pon is an escape from the raucous scene that is Larimer Street. Go for an inconspicuous drink on a vintage couch with vinyl playing in the background. Best for a bottle of beer, or cocktails such as The Keef (double Grey Goose, Orangina) and some sparkling conversation.

2528 Walnut St
Denver, CO 80205

5. Pony Up

1808 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202
A comfy lounge section just inside the front entrance at Pony Up.
Pony Up
Jonathan Phillips

Drinkers can cozy up by the “fireplace” at this new Ballpark bar that prepares classic cocktails to pair with addictive French dips, including the Thanksgiving-themed Turkey Day with roasted turkey, Italian sausage stuffing, cranberry mayo, and gravy.

1808 Blake St
Denver, CO 80202

6. The Cruise Room

1600 17th St, Denver, CO 80202
A photo of a view into The Cruise room with a long bar with stools and a line of tables with soft two-person seats extending to the back of the bar
The Cruise Room
The Oxford Hotel [Official Site]

With its new and improved drinks menu, the classic Cruise Room at The Oxford Hotel is worth a stopover this season. The downtown bar that officially opened in 1933 (the day after Prohibition ended) is back to its roots with a tour of classic cocktails made from straightforward ingredients. It’s all served in an unmatched and historically-registered setting.

1600 17th St
Denver, CO 80202

7. Wally's Wisconsin Tavern

1417 Market St, Denver, CO 80202
<span data-author="5845">Wally’s Wisconsin Tavern </span>
Wally’s Wisconsin Tavern
Adam Larkey

From the owners of Rhein Haus, this Larimer Square-adjacent tavern will transport Midwesterners right back home with cheese curds, brats, and a fish fry on Fridays. Order a pint from Bell’s brewery, a Riverwest Stein tall boy or an old fashioned.

1417 Market St
Denver, CO 80202

8. The Thin Man

2015 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80206
<span data-author="5845">The Thin Man </span>
The Thin Man
The Thin Man [Official Site]

Religious paintings and paraphernalia pack this quirky 17th Street hole-in-the-wall that infuses its own vodka and hides a performance space in the basement. Hide out under the hanging lights and squeeze up to the full bar at this busy neighborhood favorite.

2015 E 17th Ave
Denver, CO 80206

9. Syntax Physic Opera

554 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209
<span data-author="5845">Syntax Physic Opera </span>
Syntax Physic Opera
Syntax Physic Opera/Facebook

While South Broadway’s neighborhood haunts are numerous (see also Skylark Lounge and Sputnik), Syntax stands out for its unique space and knack for throwing a good party. Find DJs, poets, and comedians performing alongside a strong cocktail and food program.

554 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80209

10. Campus Lounge

701 S University Blvd, Denver, CO 80209
<span data-author="5845">The exterior of the Campus Lounge in Bonnie Brae, including the iconic yellow and brown “Campus Lounge” sign </span>
Campus Lounge
Adam Larkey/Eater

The second revamp of this 40-year-old former hockey bar is worth the trip back to Bonnie Brae. Customers can still slide into a vinyl booth, order green chile or burgers, and watch a game on the reinstalled televisions.

701 S University Blvd
Denver, CO 80209

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