Come for the cocktails stay for the atmosphere.
In typical Denver fashion, Hotel Teatro occupies the former Tramway Building, an imposing solid building of red and white brick. The hotel, which was the home of John Evans, Colorado’s second territorial governor, is in LoDo, lower downtown Denver.
After changing hands from CU Denver to Denver Center for the Performing Arts, in 1977 Astonbridge Partners and David Owen Tyrba Architects started the beautiful product you see today.
Hotel Teatro and its stunning bar, The Nickel, is located around the corner from Larimer Square and 16th Street Mall.
“The Nickel pays homage to the space that was once used to collect fare from customers riding its resident streetcars: a nickel.” – Hotel Teatro
One of the best components of The Nickel is the use of locally sourced, high quality ingredients from the state of Colorado. The dishes boast simple design yet complex flavors.
While the food itself is an epic offering, I spent most of my time at the bar chatting up the staff and enjoying their in-house barrel aged cocktails on tap.
The Nickel takes cocktails seriously.
When a cocktail is selected to be barrel aged, it is mixed in large batches and then poured into oak barrels, which lend robust flavors. The standard process is about 5-6 weeks before the drink arrives on tap.
After ordering my first Standard Rock Manhattan, I realized there was no fancy mixing going on here. My informative bartender served the drink with a beautiful wooden crate containing a small serving container and a glass with ice, which had the number “5” frozen in raised relief on it, a detail that heightened the experience. The drink was poured over the imprinted ice out of a fluted containter. I’m no cocktail connoisseur, so I won’t pretend to know what it’s called.
Next up on the list, I had a drink called Nickel Negroni.
Again, the cocktail was served with the number 5 ice, a detail the bar has custom made.
The bar is warm and inviting, lined with stainless steel counter tops and dark leather hightop chairs.
If you sit at the bar, which I recommend, you can watch your cocktail be poured from the tap. You will also find the bartenders prepping cocktail mixes for other popular drinks like The Seven Nickel – a gin based, prosecco drink that was popular amongst the bar patrons.
If cocktails aren’t your thing, they have a wide selection of wines and beers available – I recommend Colorado Wines and Colorado beer since, you know, when in Denver.
Overall, the ambiance with natural light is stunning and packs in patrons after work hours and evenings on weekends. The Nickel boasts a great happy hour with discounted cocktail prices and select nibbles. Aside from being a great bar in Downtown Denver, you can also snag up The Nickel for private events.
Next time you’re in Denver, this bar is a must for drinks.
Plus, if you get tipsy, you can book a hotel room by stumbling two steps to the Hotel Teatro lobby, all without going outside.
Looking for a reason to check it out? Try their upcoming Rosé Tasting Event on July 27.
Nickel Bar Instagram:
Photos Rights: www.instagram.com/vincent_lewis