What: Score any appetizer for just $5, plus daily deals on un-fussy drink options like PBR, Fireball shots, and Jim Beam.
Where: 504 E. Colfax Ave., Denver
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
When: Monday-Friday, 3 – 7 p.m.
Pros: Prohibition successfully combines the atmosphere of a neighborhood pub with food that goes far beyond your typical bar-grub.
Cons: Though there are plenty of drinks on special that will give you a great buzz, Prohibition’s regular cocktail selections are not included in the happy hour offerings.
Ah, Colfax Avenue. The long stretch of road that will take you from one end of the mile high to the other is also known for being packed with some of Denver’s most interesting (and, of course, most dive-y) places. But amongst the wacky, weird and often seedy there are plenty of gems. Prohibition (the sister restaurant of newcomer Leña) is one such outpost. With all the comfort of your favorite neighborhood spot plus the bonus of quality food, this may just become your new go-to hangout.
With exposed brick, a dark wood bar, and big leather booths, Prohibition’s décor is more standard-pub than swanky-hotspot. But that’s exactly why it’s so appealing. You can get a stiff drink and a bite to eat with no pretension, while still enjoying a quality experience that’s free from the hazards of the dive bar scene. The staff here is friendly and welcoming, but you can also grab a seat at the bar and enjoy a quiet lunch in happy solitude if that’s more your style. Casual and comfortable, this is what a bar experience should always be like.
Prohibition does specialty cocktails, and it does them well. But at happy hour, it’s all about getting the best buzz for your buck. Monday through Friday during happy hour you can get well drinks and draft beers for $3. Plus, each weekday there are additional specials offered all night long like $3 PBR tallboys and $4 Jameson shots on Tuesdays or refreshing John Daly’s for $4 on Thursdays. With those kind of prices, it might be a little too easy to end your night stumbling down Colfax – and that’s okay with us.
If you want to know what makes Prohibition stand out from the rest of the Colfax bar-crowd, you only have to try some of its food. This is not your typical bar grub. Instead, Chef Toby Prout offers up a menu filled with items that have its roots in comfort food but with flavors and execution that would fit in at any fine dining establishment. Plus, Prohibition recently made some culinary upgrades including the addition of its perfected fresh cut fries and baked goods from Denver’s Grateful Bread Co.
During happy hour, it’s all about the appetizers. For just $5 each, you can sample selections like braised short rib minis featuring super tender meat, house made barbecue sauce, and coleslaw on a soft slider bun. For a seriously addictive yet super simple treat, go for the crispy breaded buffalo mozzarella bites with San Marzano tomato sauce or the crispy polenta served with a balsamic tomato sauce that’s been simmered for six hours.
Though its appetizers are perfect for soaking up those boozy beverages, it’s in your best interest to save room to explore the rest of its menu too (don’t miss the bison pastrami sandwich) or cure your happy hour hangover at its weekend brunch. No matter what you order, though, Prohibition’s kitchen is definitely delivering eats that should be savored, not just scarfed down with that PBR.
All photography by Glenn Ross