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Rocky Mountain Food Tours

Colorado Springs has a long and tumultuous history related to the consumption of alcohol, and its current bar scene is reminiscent of its prohibition era past.

Down the rabbit hole, into an alley, through a haberdashery — these are just a few of the ways into Colorado Springs’ hidden bar scene.

It’s no coincidence that Colorado Springs is ripe with speakeasies and “hidden” bars. The city was once a forerunner in the prohibition of alcohol, with its founder, William J. Palmer, leading the charge. There were temperance rallies, bartenders sentenced to jail time, and liquor-lined trap doors filling the walls of downtown estates.

Now more than 100 years later, Colorado Springs is a hub of craft brewing and distilling, along with a whole lot of bars, some of which seem to be knocking on the door of our city’s past.

In honor of Colorado Springs’ thriving world of drinks, we’ve put together two downtown walking tours – The Springs Signature Cocktail and The Springs Craft Brewery Tour.

Here’s our list of our favorite speakeasies and hidden bars around the city:

 

1. Brooklyn’s on Boulder

110 East Boulder Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Visit their website and you might be a bit confused. Both their website and storefront take on the appearance of a haberdashery, however, you’ll be hard-pressed to get your suit tailored here. Instead, you’ll find an intimate environment, where the bar seems to almost act as a stage for Brooklyn’s few bartenders, who exclusively mix drinks with the delicious Lee Spirit’s gin and whiskey. Whether you’re looking for a classic gin and tonic or a more adventurous beverage, Brooklyn’s won’t leave you disappointed. Check out Brooklyn’s on Boulder on our Springs Signature Cocktail Tour happening every Saturday afternoon.

 

2. The Rabbit Hole

101 North Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Photo Courtesy of The Rabbit Hole

Walk down Kiowa Street in Downtown Colorado Springs and you might mistake the entrance to this bar for an old underground subway stop. The Rabbit Hole is a longtime local favorite, describing itself as a “New American haunt crafting creative bites and cocktails in a sleek, subterranean space.” Some even claim that this space was the original Colorado Springs City morgue! Their menu is just as unique as their location — serving things like Bacon Wrapped Rabbit Meatloaf, Rabbit “Hare” Pie, and Chorizo Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Prawns. Be sure to check out their cozy environment and delicious menu offerings.

 

3. Upstairs Wine Bar

2417 West Colorado Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80904

Photo Courtesy of Upstairs Wine Bar

Upstairs Wine Bar is located right above La Baguette, the sweetest little French bakery in Old Colorado City. You’ll follow a narrow stairway leading into a small room that resembles a cozy European loft, outfitted with a comfy couch and a fireplace. While the wine bar feels almost like a family’s living room, the menu offers some of the classiest libations in the Springs — over 70 by-the-glass fine wines, various bottles of absinthe (yep, absinthe!), gourmet shareable plates, and cheese fondue. They boast that they are “the secret living room you’ve always wanted.”

 

4. The Archives

15 South Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Photo Courtesy of The Archives

The Archives is another hidden underground cocktail bar with no sign in Downtown. They’re open seven days a week until either midnight or 2:00am, making them one of the best spots in Colorado Springs for that late night grub grab. Along with their craft cocktails, you’ll find shareable bites like the Burrata and Garlic, Beef Sliders, and Loaded Tots (featuring Pork Bomb, Cheese Curds, and Jalapeños. Yum!). With a focus on history and the city’s past, the bar offers one of the more authentic speakeasy experiences — with its stealthy identity and prohibition era cocktail menu, you might start to believe you’ve been transported back to the time when Palmer made the rules in our city.

 

5. Axe and the Oak

1604 South Cascade Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80905

Photo Courtesy of Axe and The Oak | Facebook

Walk through what looks like a typical elementary school hallway to the lower level of the old Ivywild School, and you’ll find Axe and the Oak, a moody, candlelit bar serving some of the best whiskey in town. Order a signature flight of whiskey or one of their craft cocktails (like the Tobacco Old-Fashioned), and sip to the tune of a local musician and the chatter of the busy bar.

 

6. Motif Jazz Cafe

182 East Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard, Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Photo Courtesy of Motif Jazz Cafe

Spring’s Mag rated Motif as the top spot for a romantic date in Colorado Springs, and we can understand why. This jazz bar is unassuming from the outside, nestled in a small shopping center on the south side of town, however, the moment you enter, you’ll be transported to another time and place. Motif is only open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and with jazz performances each night, the place fills up quickly. If you spend any time there, you’ll likely be graced with the mixology magic of their talented bartenders, who each contribute five new cocktails a month, creating an ever changing menu that will keep you coming back for more.

 

7. Shame & Regret

15 East Bijou Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Photo Courtesy of Shame & Regret

It’s not often you have to walk down a dark alley to find the entrance to a bar. If you’re going to, however, it should be to visit Shame & Regret, one of the latest additions to Downtown Colorado Springs’ bar scene, taking the place of 15C. It sits just across the alley from the popular art galleries, S.P.Q.R. and Modbo. The bar is meant to mimic a Catholic confessional, fit with tinted windows, leather seats, and dark-stained wood. Its menu is filled with cocktails and bites, all with names that feel like a taunting nod to our city’s pious founder and its prohibition past.

 

8. Allusion Bar

323 North Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Photo Courtesy of Allusion Bar

We bet you’ve never been to a Game of Thrones themed bar! Allusion Bar sits in the back of Rooster’s House of Ramen, inconspicuously hidden behind a faux brick wall. This small, 20-person speakeasy changes its theme every few months — each concept inspired by a different trend in pop culture. The changing theme is meant to keep things exciting and fresh, potentially drawing an entirely new crowd of patrons with each concept.

 

9. The Fifty-Niner

2409 West Colorado Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80904

Fifty Niner Speakeasy in Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs
The Fifty Niner Speakeasy in Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs | Credit: The Fifty Niner

Are you sure it’s just a game store…or is there more than what meets the eye? The Fifty-Niner speakeasy in Old Colorado City is located behind the Dice Guys Game Store and is a nod to the prospectors who came out west during the Gold Rush of 1859. Owner Adam Stephan couldn’t pass up the opportunity to draw on our community’s past, especially because the bar is located directly across from the original cabin that once served as the capital of the Territory of Colorado. Offering a slew of prohibition style cocktails and nibbles including the almighty charcuterie board and yummy paninis, this hidden gem has the right mix for a fun night on the town.

 

 

Need help finding all of the great cocktails Colorado Springs has to offer? We’ve got you! Book our Spring’s Signature Cocktail Tour for your next night out!

Here’s to Colorado Springs’ past and our very cocktail-filled future!

Cheers, Your Rocky Mountain Food Tours Team

(So, what’s a food tour, anyway…?)

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