Bar: In Denver's rendition of The Kitchen, cocktails create that community feel
Special to The Denver Post
Well-mixed cocktails and perfectly paired snacks contribute to The Kitchen's camaraderie. (All Photos by Karl Gehring, The Denver Post)
If there's one word to describe The Kitchen Denver, a recent import from Boulder, it's "clean."
Clean design, clean flavors, clean vibes: Popping in for happy hour or a quick drink just makes you feel refreshed and sustained. Even the booze seem wholesome.
Wait a minute — make that "Community Hour," not happy hour. The Kitchen is all about the way food creates community, from using local farmers for ingredients to gathering friends around a table. Or, in the case of the bar scene, the camaraderie created by well-mixed cocktails and perfectly paired snacks.
The Kitchen's bar takes up a sizable corner of the restaurant's main dining space. The long, L-shaped bar wraps around exposed-concrete support columns, lined with comfortable, high-backed barstools. During the day, light floods in from two walls' worth of tall windows — in the sun, the whites, soft grays and browns of the décor make the room feel even larger and more serene.
"Community Hour" is a fine time to sample The Kitchen's wares without taking a big hit to the pocketbook. Regular prices at The Kitchen are fair, but upmarket; Community Hour just makes it a bit easier to get a taste.
The selection of drink deals is limited. Still, there's a little tipple for everyone. House wines are $5 a glass and two beer selections are $4 each — on a recent visit, the picks were Oskar Blues' crowd-pleasing Mama's Little Yella Pils and Wyn- koop's classic B3K black lager.
A couple of cocktails make the cut, too: The Aperol Spritzer, made with Aperol liqueur and sparkling wine, and the potent Vieux Carré, a mix of cognac, rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters. Both ring up pleasantly at $5.
From the looks of it, the Kitchen's menu writers spent almost as much time crafting the Community Hour specials as they did the full menu. All the "nibbles" on offer are in the $5 to $7 range, each one nicely sized for cocktail companionship and
The Parsley Margarita includes lemon, lime, Samba mezcal and 30/30 tequila.
packed with flavor.
With crisp, silvery April sunlight streaming in, it's fun to choose your own drinking adventure. Need some early-spring strength? Try a B3K and a slab of pork terrine. Feeling as cool and clear as the weather? Nab some oysters for $1.25 apiece and quaff a glass of the house white, a blend of chardonnay and riesling grapes.
Everything feels nourishing at The Kitchen — and with a name like that, it's only fitting.
THE TIP: It's best to hit Community Hour on the early side if you want a seat at the bar and a calmer atmosphere. Afternoons and early evenings on Monday or Tuesday are just about perfect.
THE KITCHEN DENVER The spanking-new location of Boulder's popular "community bistro" opens at 11 a.m. and stops serving food at 9:30 p.m. Sundays-Tuesdays and at 10:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays. The bar closes a half-hour after that. "Community Hour": 3-6 p.m. daily, with deals on select drinks and food. 1530 16th St.; 303-623-3127. thekitchencommunity.com