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Mile-High Cocktails

in Front Range Dining & Nightlife by

The Sophisticate’s Guide to the City’s Best HAPPY HOURS!

“Looks like you have a lot on your mind … Do you want to drink about it?”

     Another long day is winding down. Feeling tired, a bit overwhelmed, and plagued by a case of the blahs. But wait. There’s hope. The allure of plush leather. Soft lighting and laughter. Lots and lots of laughter.  And then … wait for it because here’s the best part … the guy on the other side of the counter glances your way, smiles engagingly and asks, “What will it be?”

     Magically, those four words transform your mood, and you feel your spirit soar as the burdens of the arduous day begin to fade. Yes, it’s happy hour, a time for fun and frivolity, innovative cocktails and witty conversation.

     For many of us, relief in the form of a refreshing cocktail is a fabulous way to unwind, kick back, and shake off the day. In a flash (or a glass), memories of a tedious board meeting, a high-stakes business appointment or even a spat on the homefront can dissipate. Yes, it’s Happy Hour, a time to rekindle romance, bare your soul to a friend, or forge a new relationship.

     Now let’s focus on you, weary traveler. After a long day of frenetic business meetings, what better way to chill than in a sophisticated outdoor setting with the sun on your face, a cool breeze, and an ice-cold beverage?  But worry not, happy hour is not just for corporate types. Even seasoned shoppers understand the value of letting their hair down at the end of a taxing day spent visiting the city’s great stores and boutiques – kind of like                  retail therapy followed by lounge therapy.

     So time to raise a glass, have some fun, and enjoy yourself in one of Denver’s many fabulous outdoor patios – where fun and sophistication are top of mind, while the people watching isn’t too bad either!

Elway’s Downtown at The Ritz Carlton

RCDENVR_00088Everyone loves The Ritz, and here in Colorado, everyone loves John Elway. So when it comes to an ideal place to relax at the end of the day, Elway’s at the Ritz-Carlton Denver delivers a winning combination. All summer long, the patio opens at 11 a.m. and remains active until closing. Daily happy hour features great food and drink from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and on Colorado Rockies home game days, happy hour heats up all day long! Live guitar music is a popular new attraction on Wednesday nights, featuring performances by Colin McAfee, who brings his St. Louis blues roots and acoustic sounds flavored after some of the greats such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jerry Garcia and Jimi Hendrix.

1881 Curtis St. in The Ritz Carlton


Del Frisco’s Grille in Cherry Creek North

DELFRISCOS_0102Newly opened and already this is a favorite among locals wanting to see and be seen in the Mile High city. The expansive new rooftop patio at Del Frisco’s Grille is perched nearly three stories above the street, offering up views of the eclectic Cherry Creek North neighborhood. The patio is beautifully appointed, with landscaping, fire features, and a lounge-like atmosphere including community tables and high-top tables. The rooftop patio has its own bar and entrance via elevator or grand staircase. And best of all, Del Frisco’s Grille’s great food and cocktails are available up on the roof!

100 St. Paul St.


Shanahan’s Steakhouse in The Denver Tech Center

patioIf you appreciate an original handcrafted cocktail accompanied by great food and great music, Shanahan’s Steakhouse is your bet. It’s upscale, tasteful and full of beautiful people having fun. The huge outdoor space is inviting and gorgeous, with contemporary furnishings, large glass windows that open into the restaurant, and live music all summer long. Propane heaters abound for cooler evenings, and a stunning two-story granite and quartz fireplace provides the perfect setting to gather round and raise a glass.

5085 Syracuse St.


The Palm in Downtown DenverPatio Table Cloths

Recently remodeled, The Palm Denver is a favorite of locals, who love the new open contemporary floor plan, large bar, great menu featuring classics and new dishes, and of course, signature caricatures flanking the walls. This summer, make sure you sample the new Summer Lobster special, accompanied by a fantastic new cocktail list. The Mile High Hanging Chad, created by local Palm bartender Chad Skrbina for the 2008 Democratic National Convention is a hit, along with the Bourbon Blackberry Smash. Happy hour takes place Sunday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the gorgeous new bar, with half off all Prime Bites including oysters, calamari, cheeseburgers and more.

1672 Lawrence Street in The Westin Hotel


The Hyatt Aurora

Hyatt-Regency-Aurora-Borealis BarAurora has a new address, and it’s nothing short of spectacular. The new Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver Conference Center opened this Spring, and boasts all the modern amenities that you’d expect from a luxury hotel. In additional to state-of-the-art meeting facilities, the hotel also has a beautiful outdoor terrace that accommodates guests and meeting goers. But our personal favorite spot is Borealis, the great restaurant that reflects a variety of culinary styles that let guests embark on a culinary journey presented by the hotel’s award-winning chef, Tim Freeman. Happy hour lives up to its name, where guests can unwind with cocktails or craft beer on the terrace. Every day from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., this is the perfect summer venue to enjoy a glass of champagne or sparkling wine, a signature cocktail and delicious, mouthwatering hors d’ouevres.

13200 E. 14th Place


The ART Hotel in The Museum District

Nestled within a one-of-a-kind hotel is a one-of-a-kind venue that is a must-see for tourists desiring a cocktail with an artful twist. This unique hotel, ArtHotel_GardenTerraceFire_v2scentered on an experiential adventure, is part and parcel of what makes the spot so special. Up on the fourth floor is the FIRE Terrace, where patrons can savor cocktails and fare while watching the activity on Broadway Street. The terrace overlooks the city’s Museum District and History Colorado Center, and who can resist the ARTful cocktails paired with delicious nibbles and fun live entertainment.

1201 Broadway


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