Neighborhood Bar Crawl: Denver Museum & Golden Triangle

Art Appreciation

Here in Denver we appreciate fine art just like we appreciate a fine cocktail. Why not combine the two for a fun evening out? Three of Denver’s largest and most popular museums are located within few blocks of each other in an area where Speer Boulevard, Colfax Avenue, and Lincoln Street connect to form what is called the Golden Triangle. Because of this cluster, there are many different bars and restaurants available to fulfill anyone’s taste and budget either before or after a night of art appreciation. The Denver Museum District includes the Denver Art Museum (DAM), the Clifford Still Museum, and the History Colorado Center. Also nearby are the Denver Public Library, Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art, Byers Evans House Museum, Denver Mint, and several small private art galleries. Making things easier is a large parking garage in the midst of all this to keep the car safe and dry while on an art walk or avoid the driving completely by staying the night at The Art, a Hotel, with its own bar, restaurant, and outdoor rooftop deck overlooking South Broadway. What better way to see amazing art and learn a thing or two while getting your drink on.

Pints Pub
This historic tavern on West 13th near DAM has all the trappings of a traditional English pub house, including a broad selection of single malt whiskies and rare Scotch whiskeys from all the major regions of Scotland. The bar offers three single malt sampling courses featuring Scottish and worldwide whiskeys. This pub also brews traditional cask conditioned ales just like the Jolly Old England. This British pub is an excellent place to relax and reflect on the wonderful art you’ve seen with a dram or a pint. (221 W. 13th Ave.; 303-534-7543)

Cap City Tavern
Another Denver pub with long history, Cap City is also west of DAM on Bannock Street and when the weather cooperates, has a large outdoor patio where you can sip and munch before or after visiting the museums. The bar also offers a large selection of TVs for watching your favorite sports teams so after perusing the fine art, you can catch up on the latest scores. Happy hour is daily from 4 to 7 PM. (1247 Bannock St.; 720-931-8888)

Bannock Street Garage
For something a little grittier, Bannock Street Garage looks like a mechanics garage from the outside, but is in fact a biker bar, live music bar, and few other things every evening. While it looks rough around the edges (and it is) the bar supports the local art scene with First Friday art shows. The bar features live DJs, local artists, and drink specials the first Friday of each month beginning at 7 PM. This may not be a typical place to hang out after viewing fine art, but we guarantee it won’t be boring. (1015 Bannock St.; 303-534-7000)

Lo Stella Ristorante
This hidden gem is a block south of DAM’s western side on Bannock and features authentic dishes from Portofino, Italy, by an eighth generation Italian, Alessandro Polo. Here you will find pappardelle, tagliatelle, marinara, and Bolognese brought over from Liguria. The wine list is large and the bar also offers classic cocktails and select Colorado craft beers, alongside Peroni of course. This place is on the small side so reservations recommended. (1135 Bannock St.; 303-825-1995)

Cuba Cuba Café & Bar
Another unique spot in Denver, Cuba Cuba features Floridian and Cuban cuisine and is best known for their mojitos and select Cuban rums. An extra walk from the museums, Cuba Cuba is three blocks southwest of the art museum and four blocks west of History Colorado. Happy hour is Monday through Thursday from 5 to 6:15 PM. (1173 Delaware St.; 303-605-2822)

City, O’ City
On the east side of the museum district is City, O’ City, Denver’s most popular vegetarian restaurant and bar. Open from 7 AM to 2 AM every day, this place will get you going before a night out or help you relax after an evening of museum culture. Afternoon happy hour is from 3 to 6 PM and the bar also has a late night happy hour for you art-loving night owls from 11 PM to 1 AM. (206 E. 13th Ave. 303-831-6443)

Fire Lounge at The Art, a Hotel
The Art, a Hotel is Denver’s premium hotel for art lovers located in the middle of these museums. The hotel even has a collection of fine art hanging on the walls in the lobby and on each floor. FIRE is the hotel’s restaurant and bar, which has a gorgeous outdoor terrace lounge featuring food and drink specials during happy hour from 3 to 6 PM. The bar also has cocktails with names like the Matisse Martini and the Jackson Pollock. If you want to check out all three museums, sign up for a Denver stay-cation by using the hotel’s art and sleep packages or spend a full day using the hotel’s park and art packages.  (1201 Broadway; 303-572-8000)

Stoney’s Bar & Grill
Another fun Denver hangout is Stoney’s, just southeast of History Colorado. Stoney’s has a bit of everything, trivia, sports on TV, live music on weekends, and a large outdoor patio. This is also one of Denver’s most environmentally friendly bars so stopping by for a drink won’t hurt the Colorado outdoors where so many artists get their inspiration. (1111 Lincoln; 303-830-6839)

Torchy’s Tacos
Denver’s newest taco joint is ready for the artsy crowd with tasty tacos from delicious to a whole lotta heat and a full bar to quench that thirst, if you choose the heat. The bar is only open until 10 PM weeknights and 11 PM on weekends so don’t stay too late looking at the art if you need a taco fix afterwards. (1085 N. Broadway; 303-436-1704)

Club Vinyl
Denver’s classic dance club on South Broadway is only a block and a half south of the museums so if you want to make a night of your night out, hit ‘da club with four floors of dance music and a lounge area with bottle service. Open Thursday through Saturday beginning at 9 PM, there is a dress code so check the website and then get your body groove on after you fill your mind with amazing art. (1082 N. Broadway; 303-506-8078)

Tags: Bar Crawl, Happy Hour, Neighborhoods
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