Courtesy of Jungle

Cozy Cocktail Bars For a Romantic Date Night




Tired of doing the same dinner-and-a-movie routine for date night? Change things up a little—and impress your date—by sipping tasty, creative craft cocktails this winter and spring.


Boulder County’s cocktail bar scene is better than ever, from a new Louisville speakeasy to an anything but hush-hush Western chic lounge. So snag a table or pull up a stool at one of these romantic, date night-worthy cocktail bars just waiting to quench your thirst—and reignite your passion.


Velvet Elk Lounge


Maybe you’ve been together for decades and you’ve said everything there is to say. Maybe you just met, and conversation is still a little awkward. Either way, the Velvet Elk has got you covered for entertainment and a stiff drink.


There’s almost always live music roaring at this cozy venue off the Pearl Street Mall, and the drinks, like the Smoked Old Fashioned and chocolatey Campfire Sling, are conversation fodder on their own. The vibe is all make-you-want-to-stay-a-while modern Western chic, and it’s a good thing they stay open late most nights because you’re going to want to order another round. 2037 13th St., Boulder;


The Bitter Bar


Longtime Boulderites may remember The Bitter Bar as the Mr. Hyde to Happy Noodle’s Dr. Jekyll—the friendly ramen and noodle bar-by-day transformed into the darkly cool Bitter Bar at night when it originally opened in 2009. Turns out, Mr. Hyde is a whole lot more fun, and the PM cocktail lounge eventually won out, shuttering Happy Noodle but setting the standard for Boulder cocktail bars.


Courtesy of Bitter Bar


The drinks here aren’t just among the tastiest in Boulder; they’re among the tastiest along the entire Front Range, with the best time to try a sip being during the generous happy hour from 5-7 p.m. when cocktails run just $8 (because The Bitter Bar loves us and knows that happy hour should begin at 5 p.m., not end then.) The space is decently large, but still feels intimate thanks to the moody, romantic lighting. 835 Walnut St., Boulder;

Nora’s Speakeasy


If your dream cocktail bar wish list includes a welcoming vibe and a solid list of cocktails both classic and reimagined, then the new Nora’s Speakeasy is the place for you.


Courtesy of Nora’s


Located in downtown Louisville, Nora’s art deco décor is spiffy enough for a fancy date night but still relaxed enough for an easy night out. Whether you opt to snuggle up in a booth or spread out on the massive velvet sofa, you can’t go wrong with a Black Manhattan in your hand. This moody, underground spot is tucked beneath The Simon, a wedding and event venue on Main Street. 957 Main St., Louisville;

The Burns Pub


For cozy charm, you can’t beat Broomfield’s tucked away The Burns Pub. The decidedly British spot is always bustling and space is tight, so yeah, you just might have to huddle up together a little closer. Even better if that huddling happens near the fireplace or in one of the pub’s nooks and crannies.


The food here is great—they have the killer savory pie, fish and chips, and bangers and mash you’d expect—but what you’re really there for is their incredible library of whiskies. From 25-year single malt scotch to a laundry list of Irish whiskies, you’d be forgiven if you skipped the cocktails in favor of a straight sip. But don’t! The Barrel Aged Boulevardier, a bittersweet blend with Westland American single malt whiskey, is a drink you definitely need in your life. 9009 Metro Airport Ave., Broomfield;



When you need a break from Colorado winter, enter the tropical drink wonderland that is Jungle. Blizzard outside? Sip on a Mai Tai and your feet are in the sand. The thermometer just won’t hit positive digits? Order up the High Tide with Jamaican rum, pear brandy, toasted seaweed and ginger and, suddenly, you’re in the Caribbean.


Courtesy of Jungle


This Pearl Street rum bar is a staycation wrapped up in palm fronds, the ideal spot to get away for date night. Bonus: They’ve got burgers, fish tacos and plantain fritters to soak up all that rum so you can stay a little longer. 2018 10th St., Boulder;

Dry Land Distillers


Distilleries can sometimes feel a little rough around the edges—they are, after all, production facilities, where all that good hooch gets made. But downtown Longmont’s Dry Land Distillers feels more like a carefully created mid-century modern lounge than an afterthought tasting room.


Courtesy of Brittni Bell Photo/Dry Land Distillers


And their cocktails and spirits are always polished, too. We like the Lilac Bush, made with their Native Colorado Gin and lilac simple syrup, as well as their Hot Buttered Rum, a mix of brown sugar, warm holiday spices and cane rum. But you really can’t go wrong no matter what you order. Afterward, stroll hand-in-hand and window shop on Main Street in Longmont. 519 Main St., Longmont;



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