Brass Tacks | The New Hangout on Blake Street

From the group behind Curio, comes a full scale bar, eatery and hip hangout named Brass Tacks. It’s a cool, open yet cozy space with an amazingly stocked bar showcasing over 300 spirits and a counter-service kitchen making sandwiches, sides and a few large-scale “family meals”. They opened early February, transforming the former Blake Street Vault in LoDo.

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The idea behind Brass Tacks was creating a place where people can feel comfortable coming in any time of day by providing delicious food and drink options from mid morning till past midnight in a comfortable, laid back setting. In the morning try a Vietnamese coffee, nitro cold brew or kombucha on tap with a $3 egg and cheese sandwich. For lunch we tried a couple sides and sandwiches, which are available all day. Happy hour is daily from 3-6pm and again Sun-Thu 10pm to close with $1 off beers, $2 off wine and cocktails and a few food specials. The variety of seating options, a couple TVs, free foosball upstairs, and no wait staff give guests the sense they can hang out for as long as they’d like.

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The lovely bar features 20 beers on tap and a few wines and cocktails. We tried the sour on tap which was so refreshing and effervescent and a Saison which went well with our creamy Mac & Cheese and flavor-filled chicken wings. They also feature a whole fridge of bottled cocktails; one side has mixed, carbonated style cocktails, the other side has stronger, stirred cocktails. We went for the tequila based Cobble Hill which was very smooth, a bit sweet like honey, and overall amazing. One of their featured nitro cocktails on tap was a Peanut infused bourbon with Coca Cola which we had to sample. It was sweet and savory and we learned mixing peanuts with Coca Cola is a popular thing people do in Florida.

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For our entrees (pictured above) we selected the turkey sandwich which came with alfalfa sprouts, thin sliced cucumber, avocado, havarti cheese, and basil aioli. We tried this on their soft gluten free ciabatta and we were impressed by the flavor and texture of this gluten free bread. We also ordered the Chimichurri steak sandwich containing marinated grilled flank steak, chimichurri, roasted piquillo peppers, arugula, jalapeno on a fresh baguette that was tasty and very filling.

In addition to good eats and an endless drink selection, the bar features a frozen cocktail machine with rotating monthly concoctions for $9 ($7 during happy hour). For May, they’re serving up a delicious frozen margarita featuring a 100% agave tequila and quality mixers that are worth coming for this summer. Definitely check out this cool new hangout, we loved kicking back and watching the Nuggets play while eating and drinking the afternoon away at Brass Tacks.

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https://www.brasstacksdinebar.com/main

Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB

Photos by Josh Stephens @freezerfilmfoto

Upstairs private party area

Upstairs private party area







Broadway Market | Denver's Newest Food Hall

 
The Bar

The Bar

The Food Hall trend has steadily made its way across the country and has found a warm welcome from Denverites. From The Source’s opening in 2013 to the brand new Broadway Market opening today, there are now over a handful of deliciously cool food halls to spend your day or night.

Broadway Market was inspired by village food halls where people have been gathering to eat and mingle for centuries, but puts a Mile High spin on its global cuisine and communal setting. Broadway Market comes from developer Mark Shaker of Stanley Marketplace and Brad Arguello, co-founder of Avanti Food & Beverage, along with Snooze’s Adam Schlegel helping curate the concepts. “We opened Broadway Market as a food hall and community gathering place that’s also a celebration of Denver’s best chefs. They have worked in this type of concept before which means they can focus on the food and their customers,” says Mark Shaker. We noticed a few of the restaurants overlap from Stanley Marketplace such as Maria Empanada, Misaki Sushi, Mondo Mini (Market), and Miette Et Chocolat. In addition to their tasty food, there’s pizza and pasta, doner kebabs and falafel, burgers and tots, tikka masala and curry, and even a cold-pressed juicery! We tried it all and loved the variety and quality of food to choose from here.

The nine restaurants in Broadway Market

The nine restaurants in Broadway Market

In addition to their nine restaurants, there’s two locally owned boutiques and a full bar in the center of it all with craft cocktails, lots of wine and even a sake on the menu. Beer lovers have their own special spot, an entire “Bottoms Up” beer wall with a dozen Colorado beers and ciders on tap. The do-it-yourself beer wall lets you fill your glass with however much you want and is priced per ounce, so you can pick and choose! Making this extra fun is your glass fills from the bottom up by way of a magnetic stopper - I’m telling you this so you don’t end up with beer all over your table like we did after curiously/drunkenly poking the bottom of our glass.

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Broadway Market makes it easy for guests to purchase from multiple vendors with an optional fob card that can link to your credit card. This card allows you to swipe away with only one charge to your credit card and if you plan on using the beer wall, the card is necessary to activate it and will show you your running total with each pour, thankfully.

As Denver, and the world, expands so too does our interest in sustainability. Broadway Market aims to be as close to zero waste as possible with the help of their local compost partner Scraps. By using real dishes and utensils Broadway Market avoids all single-use plastics: no plastic straws, no plastic condiment packets, nothing that gets used just once and then thrown in the landfill. From sourcing to preparation to dining and plate-scraping, just about everything at Broadway Market that can be disposed of can be composted or recycled. They plan to examine their operations during the first three months for the best ways to live up to their zero waste goals.

Add this new food hall to your list of hangouts as it’s perfect for a causal breakfast with your laptop, lunch with a diverse group of eaters, or a fun dinner date or drink stop. Another reason to go, it’s easy to get to -with a central location on Broadway and 9th and a free parking lot, it’s definitely our new hang out spot!

Misaki Sushi

Misaki Sushi

www.broadwaymarketdenver.com

Review by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB Photos by Samantha Bliss @RedCapturesHerBliss

Bar Helix | Easy on the Eyes & the Tongue

Bar helix, located in the RiNo District, recently launched a special, supplementary menu of twelve creative versions of the classic Negroni cocktail, becoming Denver’s only Negroni bar. Bar helix is a modern, sexy bar + lounge concept created by Advanced Sommelier Kendra Anderson (aka @SwirlGirlDenver) that showcases 16 sexy, innovative cocktails, alongside an extensive wine list and decadent small plates. Grape based spirits served up sexy is the underlying theme there.

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The Negroni was always Owner Kendra’s cocktail of choice, but it wasn’t always available at bars or the bartender wouldn’t know how to make it. In case you don’t know either, a Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail, made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, garnished with orange peel. Bar helix’s signature Negroni features a Vermont gin that’s barrel aged and infused with honey, and a lesser known Campari - this drink glides down your mouth.

Kendra wanted to share her love of the Negroni with Denver through introducing and “educating” her guests to this classic cocktail, along with a variety of classic Negroni spin-offs, so everyone can find a version they love. She relishes in the opportunity the bar provides her to chat and interact with others about her extensive knowledge on spirits and wine - her and Bar Manager Victoria really know their stuff!

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On their new Negroni menu, guests will find a variety of versions from the familiar (Campari, Death’s Door gin, Dolin sweet vermouth) to the esoteric (Cappelletti aperitivo, Casa de Valor cava brut, and Casa Mariol vermut). From December 1 through 31, guests who drink any twelve full-sized negroni cocktails will win a holiday-themed negroni gift package, a $25 gift card to bar helix, and get entered in a drawing for a chance to win a $200 gift card to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts! They’ve coined it “The Twelve Negronis of Christmas”. Or, guests who sample twelve baby Negroni cocktails during the month of December will also win a special Negroni themed gift.

The luscious bites are also not to be missed. Kendra (who was once a chef) developed a “sexed-up bar food” menu along with Chef Sam who runs the kitchen. Bar helix makes 85% of the menu items in house, from deviled eggs and shrimp cocktail to the garnishes in you cocktail.

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Kendra’s vision to make great things accessible, like fine wine, champagne, caviar, and Negroni is absolutely apparent in bar helix and the aesthetics provide a sexy, yet sophisticated environment to take your mind off the mundane. We recommend you stop by for “Woman Crush Wednesdays”, a date night, or for an “Afternoon Delight” aka happy hour 4-7pm Wednesday-Sunday.

Visit barhelixdenver.com & follow @barhelixdenver on Facebook and Instagram

Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB & Samantha Bliss @redcapturesherbliss

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Denver's First-Ever Sneaker Bar | Sneekeazy

Calling all cocktail enthusiasts and sneakerheads, Denver’s first cocktail lounge paired with specialty sneaker store, Sneekeazy, is now open. Located above Element Kitchen & Cocktail in an expansive second floor loft, the Sneekeazy offers a combined boutique and bar experience where you can sip on expertly crafted cocktails, shop the world’s most coveted shoes and enjoy a unique take on Denver’s downtown nightlife scene.

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Sneekeazy showcases Jordans, Yeezys and rare footwear and in addition will utilize its network of collectors to track down one-of-a-kind pieces for the public. The store also boasts a “SneakerSom” who serves as the resident sneaker expert and will offer cobbler services and specialized custom footwear. Once you’re done shopping, continue to a saloon-style lounge offering specialty cocktails, small bites, and live music and DJs every night. The cocktails are complimented with a lofty lounge atmosphere, complete with free-to-play pool tables, shuffleboard and classic arcade games! Enjoy the lounge areas and cozy up with comfortable living room furniture to retreat for a little privacy and intimate conversation. The small bites menu was created by celebrity Chef John Tesar and is available until 1 a.m., satisfying late-night cravings and featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients. Each dish is priced at $10.

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“We’re really excited to bring a fresh and exciting concept with another late-night option to Denver’s nightlife scene,” says Element Hospitality’s Jon Spadafora. “The speakeasy is much larger than typical hidden bars and boasts several different lounges. We’re also featuring Colorado beer and spirits, as well as a rooftop deck offering views of both the state capitol and downtown skyline.”

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Catering towards the late-night crowd, Sneekeazy will be open Wednesday - Saturday from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m., with DJs starting every night at 8 p.m. The space also features art from local Denver creatives that will rotate through on a regular basis. Upcoming happenings include custom designed sneaker giveaways by local tattoo artists, acoustic nights on with local musicians, and more.  

Lifestyle | When Williams & Graham Took a Vaca, Denver got a San Francisco Treat

This past weekend from May 5th to May 8th the team from Denver’s Speakeasy, Williams & Graham took their annual staff retreat and let award-winning San Francisco bar, Trick Dog takeover.

Our first thought was, “I wonder how long the wait will be?” We decided to give it a try anyway Friday evening and walked in ready to prove to the door staff we were a hip, sophisticated group. We began spouting how we knew about the takeover and were familiar with and excited about Trick Dog in hopes of upping our chances of getting past that revolving bookcase. Turns out, we didn’t need to prove our cool, the two ladies at the door explained they were letting everybody in, no wait list, no line, just first come, first served.

We eagerly made our way down the stairs to a dim room filled with others ‘in the know’ and even managed to score a booth! Their menus were large file folders labeled “Top Secret” with tabs along each side stating different conspiracy cases. Each page listed the case, the ingredients, and the “declassified” information about the case, which was mostly blacked out. All were interesting, hand crafted $13 cocktails along with a small menu of starters, entrees, and a few desserts.

We took turns reading the crazy ingredients and conspiracy theories aloud and decided to order the “Biggie and Tupac”, “Crop Circle” and “Grassy Knoll” along with some pretzel bites. We were pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of our waiter, who offered to answer questions, made suggestions, was adequately attentive, and even joked around with us! (Not sure about you, but this was quite a contrast to some of our previous interactions in this Speakeasy.)

The drinks were pleasant and surprising as well. For example, the Crop Circle was composed of Japanese whiskey, barley water, and reishi mushroom syrup. (We’re an experimental group). The Biggie and Tupac was a blend of Reposado tequila, Sherry, vermouth, two teas and honey with one of those fancy balls of ice. The Grassy Knoll was more like Bermuda grass with sticky thorns than a soft winter rye, mixing jerk spice and lime with rum and scotch. All three went down too easy and were not as large as you’d hope for $13, but we figured as much. Looking back, I wish we had tried more but we had enjoyed the hour we spent so much we were satisfied with calling it a night. I can’t remember what type of music they play normally, but Trick Dog was bumpin’ with Oldies, Motown and Disco. We were literally dancing in our seats. . . maybe the drinks were worth their weight after all.

Tiffany Candelaria