Denver knows bars. Its first permanent structure was a saloon. By 1910, there were 450 saloons offering nickel beers and free lunches–maybe there was such a thing as free lunch back then. While nickel beers are as extinct as the dinosaurs that once roamed Colorado, the pricier brews we quaff today are also more sophisticated, complex and tastier. Still, Denver does not live on beer alone. The bars we frequent cover a wide range to suit the most varied tastes, beverages and otherwise. Rockers and indie bands discovered Hi-Dive when it opened in 2003, and it’s still one of the best places to grab a drink and listen to cutting-edge music. Terminal Bar, opened summer 2014, anchors the magnificently renovated Union Station and offers locals, visitors and railroad passengers a sweet place to take a load off and raise a glass. Just down 17th street, the Art Deco Cruise Room has been popular with Denverites since it opened in 1933, the day after prohibition was repealed. High up in the Hyatt Regency Colorado Convention Center, Peaks Lounge serves its drinks with one of the best views in the city, and at Punch Bowl Social Denver, patrons can order a new-school cocktail before lacing up their bowling shoes for a little retro fun. And Williams & Graham brings a touch of old-school class and speakeasy mystique to cocktails but with contemporary flair. Cheers!
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