Reclaimed from its one-time sketchy past and transformed into a dynamic, thriving neighborhood, LoDo in downtown Denver continues to evolve, and by evolve we mean get better and better. Terminal Bar could be the poster business for LoDo’s evolution, an upscale drinking establishment deeply rooted in Denver history yet that unmistakably exemplifies the city’s increasing sophistication (and deeper pockets).
Only open since July 2014, Terminal Bar is already a crowd-pleaser — Photo courtesy of Terminal Bar
Appropriately ensconced in one end of the Great Hall in meticulously renovated Union Station, Terminal Bar sits at a crossroad for Amtrak passengers, commuters, local residents and tourists. There’s no lack of clubs and bars in the area, but Terminal Bar has its own niche as a supremely convenient place to grab an after-work or late-night brew with friends.
Though you're surrounded by history, impressive architecture and the action – this is important – it’s also possible to have honest-to-goodness, old-school conversation. Really. You can talk. And be heard.
The bar's hanging menu draws its design from old train signs — Photo courtesy of Terminal Bar
While the name reflects the bar’s location in a train terminal, it’s also a homage to the historic down-and-dirty dive of the same name that once sat down the block. Today’s Terminal Bar is a trendier, pricier version of the original, yet in many ways it captures the spirit of the old place, the ever ebbing and flowing energy of a bar in a busy transportation hub where people from all walks of life cross paths and maybe briefly rub elbows over a beer.
Terminal Bar is located in the former ticket office of Union Station — Photo courtesy of Terminal Bar
If the look of Terminal Bar is reminiscent of a ticket office, that’s because it was. Where passengers in the early 1900s once lined up for tickets to Sacramento and St. Louis, thirsty guests today can belly up to the bar to order Colorado craft brews, cocktails and wine.
The craft brew list is substantial and includes beer from some of the state’s most popular breweries, including Epic, Avery, Odell, Prost, Dry Dock, Ska, Denver Beer Company, Copper Kettle, Gravity, Great Divide and more. The list will change frequently but will always feature all Colorado brews all the time. To see what’s on tap any given week, check out Terminal Bar's Facebook page.
This is definitely a bar, not a restaurant, which means food options are limited. Customers can order from the menu of Acme Burger & Brat Corporation, which is just across the Great Hall, and the food – burgers, brats, dogs and hand-cut fries – will be delivered to your Terminal Bar seat or any seat of the cozy furniture groupings in the center of the Great Hall. The bar is open until 2 a.m., but food is only available until 11 p.m., so plan accordingly.
At any given time, there are dozens of Colorado craft brews on tap — Photo courtesy of Terminal Bar
While convening in the center of the action of the Great Hall has appeal, Terminal Bar also has a 17-table patio with excellent people watching potential on Wynkoop Street and views of the station’s burbling sidewalk fountains. One real benefit of the bar’s location is that it offers the opportunity before or after your beer to poke around Union Station and check out the shops, people and trains. Or you can choose to mosey through LoDo, one of Denver’s best neighborhoods for walking.