“It’s like Santa threw up everywhere.” That’s how Wayward co-owner and acclaimed bartender Chad Michael George would describe his latest endeavor, Miracle. Although an international concept, George has been pining to bring Miracle to Denver for two years now. But when he was first approached to spearhead the only Denver iteration, he didn’t have the space. That was before her opened Wayward, the new Riverfront restaurant on Little Raven Street that formerly housed Zengo. With it came the next door bar that is no stranger to a makeover. Formerly several different takes on tapas and tacos concepts from the owner of Zengo, Richard Sandoval, Miracle Bar is looking quite different than its predecessors.
Covered head to toe with Christmas decorations, George used a mix of donated goods, bought items and several 10- to 12-hour days to bring about the transformation. “It required many trips to Michael’s and Target,” he said. Included in the decorations is a “Hanukkah corner.” Put together by Jared Schwartz, Wayward co-owner, and floor manager Paige Steiner, they wanted to recognize the holiday while also making a joke on how it is always overshadowed by Christmas. “It’s put in the back corner like where you’d find it in the holiday decoration section,” said George. Alongside the decor, an 11-hour Christmas music-only playlist will be on loop every day the bar is open (now through Christmas Eve and potentially New Year’s). “You can be here all night and not hear the same song twice,” he said.
As for the drinks, the list will be the same as the other Miracle locations. Included are festive drinks such as a Snowball Old Fashioned made with an an actual toy snowball maker alongside holiday classics like mulled red wine (Bad Santa) and an eggnog (Jingle Bell Nog). Others like “You’ll Shoot Your Rye Out” will also maintain the season’s theme with creative ingredients like pumpkin spiced rye whiskey, Budweiser-marshmallow syrup (yes, really) and egg white. All drinks are $12 with shot specials and local beers on tap.
While the Denver location is one of many (about 50 others exist in the US), there are some unique aspects to the Mile High location. Mainly, the bar will feature a rotating cast of Denver’s most talented bartenders including Kevin Burke (Ste. Ellie / Colt & Gray), Stuart Jensen (Curio) and Les Baker (Star Bar), among others. George said the website will have a calendar listing which days each bartender will play house.
Miracle Bar opens tonight at 6 p.m. and will be open every day (except Thanksgiving) until at least Christmas Eve. After that, George said it’s possible they’ll extend it to New Year’s. Afterward, they’ll tear down the decorations and get it prepped to become a fast-casual coffee, breakfast and lunch concept. They may even hold onto the bar and open it back up for other themed bars, if it fits with the upcoming concept.
In the meantime, if you’re ready for Christmas don’t miss out on Miracle Bar. Just be forewarned, only Santa is allowed to protect his holiday cheer all over Miracle, so maybe refrain from that third glass of eggnog.
Miracle Bar is located at 1610 Little Raven St., Denver and is open daily at 6 p.m. All photography by Kyle Cooper.