Every community has their staples.

Those local hangouts that have been around before most of its attendants were old enough to consume its creations. Denver has its fair share of legendary local hangouts — and LoDo’s Bar + Grill has been one of them since 1994. Since its beginnings on 1946 Market Street, LoDo’s has spread to three total locations, bringing great times, good drinks and consistent bites to communities across the Metro. It’s a place to meet friends, grab a beer and kick back without the pretention and price tag that comes with many Denver eateries. And while we all appreciate the comfort of a simple burger and unassuming beverage, there’s no doubt the local culinary scene is upgrading and advancing — because of this, the team at LoDo’s has decided to do a little bit of elevating of their own.

“We just kind of got into this feeling that we want to give our guests a better experience,” explained LoDo’s Bar + Grill marketing manager RayAnn Ortiz. “And being here for almost 25 years we know that things change and we had to elevate our experience. It kind of started with our food. We’ve always had great reviews on our food but we wanted to make things even better. To bring in some different things.”

In roughly two weeks, LoDo’s will roll out their new menu, with additions like fresh ahi tuna tacos topped off with avocado and slaw, bison burgers with sweet bacon jam and even a new doughnut hole sundae. From adding new sandwiches with an international influence to introducing a poke bowl and some enhanced burger options, guests can expect Cherry Creek quality in a Market Street environment. And it’s not just the food menu that’s getting an upgrade. LoDo’s is raising its bar by replacing all of their cocktail mixers with freshly squeezed juice. Considering the state of Denver’s cocktail scene — this is long overdue.

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“We used to use mixers, now everything has fresh juice in it,” explained Ortiz. “Customers were really demanding a better quality and that’s what we wanted to give them. We’re going to give people better quality and the drinks have to be apart of it. All of our fresh squeezed juices are from Natalie’s juice. It’s a cold press juice instead of the hot fermented style so it’s not as bitter. We tested out about six or seven companies and this was the one that really stood out.

LoDo’s is using these fresh juices in everything from the new raspberry mint mule to the new whiskey ginger and a house margarita. And when the fresh food menu rolls out mid-June, a new drink menu with some exciting additions will also debut with it.

“People often ask for mules so we’re trying to spice up and get a variety of mules because a lot of the clientele ask for them,” explained Ortiz. “Our Highlands Ranch location is coming out with Mega Mules. They’re going to be group shared, like 96-ounce cups. And that’s just at Highlands Ranch, for now, to make sure we can keep it under control.”

From the drinks to the food, this local hangout hubs new menu is bringing an elevated experience to Market street, and they’re doing it with a bigger cause in mind. LoDo’s Bar + Grill owner Chris Myers has been a long-time supporter of first responders. From firefighters to police officers and military personnel, he and the LoDo team wanted to give back to those who give to us — so they found a way to do that through delicious food.

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Our owner, Chris, has always been very supportive of military, police, firefighters and first responders and we also have a lot of staff members that are vets, that have been active duty and we have a lot of team members with family in the military or police force or firefighters,” said Ortiz. “So when we were thinking of a charity to partner with it was kind of a no-brainer for us to go with first responders and give them the support that they give us. This is our First Responder’s burger. It’s brand new, we brought it on for the cause. A dollar from every burger purchased will go to the Colorado Police Officers Foundation and Colorado Professional Firefighters Foundation at all three of our locations. It’s a bison patty, so another game style meal — we have fried jalapeños, a chipotle caramelized onion, smoked gouda and lettuce and tomato. We actually served this to some police officers last night and they thought it was awesome.”

The Colorado police and professional firefighters foundations are dedicated to generating funds to support the first responders and law enforcement in our community. Apart from donating one dollar from every first responded burger to the cause, LoDo’s plans to host fundraising events and continue to raise awareness over the coming months  — and when it comes to supporting our community by grubbing out and sipping on quality drinks, you can count us in.

LoDo’s Bar + Grill’s newest menu will be available mid-June. In addition to the new bites and booze, the grill will host morning yoga on the patio and happy-hour all summer long.

You can catch them from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Sunday through Tuesday and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday. LoDo’s Bar + Grill is located at 1946 Market St., Denver. 

All Photos by Emma Pion-Berlin.