Denver’s premier speakeasy-style bar opened to raves in 2011 and just keeps getting better. In fact, it was named Best American Cocktail Bar at the 2015 Spirited Awards. It’s easy to see why. The staff: bartenders, waiters and hosts are genuinely friendly and knowledgeable – eager to make your visit an enjoyable experience. The entrance ruse takes place in a tiny book store front on Tejon Street. You give your name to the saleslady behind the counter who sooner than later admits you to the bar through a secret bookcase opening and for a second, you’re sad to leave the charming, book-lined “store” you’ve been browsing.
A passageway then opens into the secret tavern itself – a softly lit, wood-paneled club that beckons with a timeless, hospitable warmth. Dominated by a grand wooden back bar, the room is actually not that large, but rather a snug romantic hideaway with seven cozy booths and bar seating, creating an atmosphere that inspires relaxing conversation and lingering over drinks.
An impressive selection of spirits, brandies and whiskeys line the menu, with many locally produced brands. Cocktails take center stage here as they are expertly prepared and served. “Intimidatingly perfect Old Fashioneds and Manhattans,” lauds Esquire Magazine. There are always intriguing seasonal specialty drinks as well, like Sloe Summer and Blackberry Sage Smash. A small plates menu of delectable treats — deviled eggs, beer nuts, roasted bone marrow and the like — provides perfect nibbles. Once you get inside this gem, you really don’t want to leave.
W&G owners treat their worthy employees to an annual trip to distilleries around the world to enrich their knowledge of the products they serve.
Watch owner Sean Kenyon mix up a Vieux Carré cocktail in this video at Williams & Graham:
3160 Tejon St., Denver, CO 80211