Occidental Bar, found in the Highlands, is the unlikely sibling and the neighbor of Williams & Graham, the premier company that many people know. Occidental, known as low key and punk atmosphere, gives the concept “dive” a good name. It’s got excellent cocktails, punk tunes, and savvy bartenders. Think of it as a dive with class. As far as game watching, Occidental has TVs with large screens, and we all know that large TV screens are all the rage.
Furthermore, if you’re a fan from New York, Occidental is the place to watch the Knicks, Rangers, Mets, Giants, and the Yankees. Occidental also has a well-curated beer list. This list includes options from national and local craft breweries. The menu consists of popular items such as burgers, but the food is bumped up a notch with organic and local ingredients. Vegetarian menu items are available as well for those who want to go meatless.
You’ll find Retrograde behind a freezer door at the back of an ice cream shop. For traditional speakeasies, this is one of Denver’s best bets. The company is warm and welcoming, and it operates without annoying, pretentious vibes. The best way to enjoy Retrograde is by experiencing the spirit of the place as well as the spirits on the menu. Order one of the classic or creative cocktails on the list. Or, tell the bartender what our preferred flavor is and wait to see what the bartender mixes up! If you want a beer and watch the show projected on the wall, such as “Star Trek” or “Game of Thrones,” that’s fine too. Also, while on your way out, stop for housemate ice cream. It makes for a great dessert.
La Rumba involves Latin dance, which consists of both learning it onsite and doing it onsite. Available for ages 21 and up, the club appeals to a diverse crowd that spans multiple generations, ethnicities, and cultures and plays a wide style of Latin music that ranges from salsa, bachata, Cumbria, merengue, and cha-cha. With South Beach and Havana in mind, La Rumba (http://larumbadenver.com/) brings dancers to a sultry Latin hotspot, despite Denver being outside the doors of the venue.
And as in South Beach or Havana, guests dress to impress. The dress policy means no ball caps, shorts, tank tops, or flip-flops. So be sure to plan your outfit carefully, and maybe think about turning some heads! Also, on Saturday nights, La Rumba has some of Denver’s top salsa orchestras. No bachata or salsa experience? No problem. There are also beginner dance lessons on most nights. And for those people who aren’t new to the game, there’s also advanced instruction for dancers who already know how to make certain dance moves.
RUN FOR THE ROSES
Into the alley of the mid-Dairy Block, on up the stairs, into the elevator, down a thin underground hallway, and through a door embossed in an etched glass wall, you’ll find Run For The Roses (RFTR), a fancy cocktail lounge that gives off light, sleek aesthetic, and a cozy, intimate feel. Run For The Roses‘ drink menu is a deck of cards, and we mean literally – a deck of cards. Each card shows a cocktail with its ingredients, from classic to contemporary. If you are an aspiring mixer, you can purchase a deck of cards for $11 and create them all at home.