What is Curio?
River North Denver just got a little more exciting this past weekend, with the brand new Denver Central Market opening its doors. Brandishing 11 gourmet vendors in its large indoor space, The Central Market adds a communal feel to the rapidly expanding RiNo neighborhood. Make sure to take a look at Everything You Need to Know About Denver Central Market ahead of time. But before you explore too far into the market, detour left and stop by the beautiful Curio bar to pick up a cocktail.
Curio is the new neighborhood bar for the burgeoning River North district. As one of the only newcomers to the Denver scene, Curio is shoulder-to-shoulder with culinary-household names like Jeff Osaka of Osaka Ramen and Justin Brunson of Old Major. Striving to serve fast and simple drinks for everyone, Curio has everything from local beers to signature cocktails to a by-the-glass wine list. Offering simple-yet-complex handcrafted cocktails and drinks, no visit to The Central Market would be complete without stopping by.
Who They Are
From the amazing minds that brought you Cure All Bitters, the husband-and-wife team Katsumi Yuso Ruiz and Stephen Julia are behind both Curio and Green Seed at The Central Market. Green Seed is the produce section of the market with a twist: they will put the produce right on your plate. Offering natural juices and fresh salads, alongside a wealth of farmer’s market fruits and vegetables, they are worth checking out.
What this means for Curio and your cocktail is that every juice, fruit or bitter that goes into your drink is handcrafted by Ruiz and Julia. Juice made daily and farm fresh fruits and herbs are used to elevate Curio’s cocktail offerings to a level few bars can achieve.
What They Are Doing
Both Stephen’s and Katsumi’s focus is on the neighborhood and community. The self-proclaimed “greeters” of the market, Curio wants your visit to feel communal. “You have to treat people like they are from the neighborhood,” Stephen said. Plus who doesn’t want to shop with a drink in their hand? With this philosophy, Curio is also orchestrating what they call Sunday School — weekly classes and tastings hosted by individual Central Market vendors and paired with a Curio cocktail. Keep an eye on their Facebook and Website for dates and info.
We asked the bartenders at Curio what they recommended and what their favorite drinks were, and they had no problem helping us out. The Bourbon on the Rose ($10) was easily the consensus. Made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Capelletti, fresh lemon juice and root beer bitters, the drink is well balanced, unique and simply remarkable. The Jamaican Sour ($10), made with Cruio’s Rum Blend, lime, vanilla extract, orange water and served in a tiki glass, was one of their favorites while the classic Negroni ($9); gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, was easily found to be the other. Check out their happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.
Curio is located in The Denver Central Market on 669 Larimer Street, Denver, Colorado and is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Curio is open Sunday through Thursday until 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday until 12 a.m.