One of the most mildly thrilling experiences as an adult is watching your least favorite childhood candies turn into a goldmine of alcoholic erotica during Halloween. Caramel Apple Pops and candy corn don’t taste like total shit when they’re soaked in booze, turns out; served with a side of fries, even better.
If you’re still on the hunt for a Halloween kick before the 31st sneaks up, we’ve compiled a list of spots around town still serving some festive mood boosters.
Spirits Halloween Pop-Up Bar
Where: 1403 Larimer St., Denver
When: Weeknights: 4 p.m. – 12 a.m. Weekends: 4 p.m. – 2 a.m. until October 31
The Lowdown: Typically, you’d find a Spirit Halloween store popping up in shopping plazas replacing a defunct Mattress Firm or Office Depot. But until the 31st, the Halloween specialty store franchise will host a temporary pop-up bar in Larimer Square, replacing Crimson Room, with viewings of movies on a projector and craft cocktails on the theme.
Fan favorites so far have been the Caramel Apple Sucka ($13) and Redbull Mixed Blood Bag ($13) served out of a blood transfusion bag.
Little Tiki Bar of Horrors at The Electric Cure
Where: 5350 W 25th Ave., Denver
When: Tuesday: 5 p.m. – 12 a.m. Wednesday – Thursday: 3 p.m. – 12 a.m. Friday: 3 p.m. – 2 a.m. Saturday: 2 p.m. – 2 a.m. Sunday: 2 – 10 p.m.
The Lowdown: Edgewater’s new craft and tiki cocktail addition opened this past summer. Until November 7, it’ll host the “Little Tiki Bar of Horrors,” featuring events, games and prizes with local businesses and musicians along with new specialty cocktails to swig in a funky, obscure hole-in-the-wall.
It was every bartender ever who said the name of a cocktail accounts for 50 percent of its appeal. If this were a drink naming contest, The Electric Cure would win hands down. Try “Look Mom, No Head” ($12), with green chili vodka, citrus, mango and jalapeno, or Three Ghouls 1 Cup ($14) made with Avua Prata Cachaca, rum, housemade falernum and Jamaican allspice bitters. If you’re feeling nervy, you can “kiss your hippocampus goodbye” with the homemade House Zombie ($17), 40 oz of potent rum.
Hidden Gems Ice Cream
Where: 1411 Larimer St., Denver
When: Tuesday – Thursday and Sunday: 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. Friday – Saturday: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.
The Lowdown: Local entrepreneur and founder of Handsome Boys Hospitality Joshua Schmitz brought his soft service concept to Larimer Square last April. With a trippy Wizard of Oz theme and loops of trap music blaring, Hidden Gems is marketed as “not your grandma’s ice cream shop” — that’s likely because grandma would get a double whammy headache from the music and brain freeze.
Starting earlier this month, the parlor finally began offering chocolate as a base flavor, in addition to introducing nostalgic Monster Cereal toppings perfect for the season. Try the Count Chocula or Franken Berry toppings for something more classic, or try one of the more unique mix-ins like Cheez-It. A single cup, including one mix in and one drizzle, costs $7, while vegan alternative are closer to $9.
Milepost at McGregor Square
Where: 1601 19th St., Suite 150, Denver
When: Monday, Wednesday and Sunday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Thursday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
The Lowdown: The food hall and bar have plenty to offer outside of the holidays, but the recently opened Milepost Zero in McGregor Square is already making a good impression with its holiday-themed cocktail specials.
The Hocus Pocus, available in a single serving size ($9) or sharable size ($38), is served in a Jack-o-Lantern bucket for five. Made with Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, apple cider, lemon juice, honey and orange bitters, it’s definitely a boost from every basic spiced apple cider you’ll find in town. In addition, the bar is offering the Witches Brew ($9) made with Jones house vodka, cranberry juice, Cointreau, lemon juice and maple syrup.
Where: 3500 Delgany St., Denver
When: Tuesday – Thursday: 4 – 10 p.m. Friday: 12 – 11 p.m. Saturday: 1 – 11 p.m. Sunday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
The Lowdown: Despite being a restaurant chain, Kuma’s Corner, which opened last year, has already earned a name for slaying some of the best burgers in town.
With a generous bar menu, the burger joint is introducing new specialty Halloween cocktails in addition to a special Burger of the Month — the Goblin Cock ($18), served with sport peppers, pickles, neon green relish bacon and Vienna beef hot dogs stacked on a 10 oz beef patty. Gobble it up.
For drinks, try the Hammer Smashed Peach ($6.60) — made with rye whiskey, house-made candied peach syrup with mint garnish to finish.
Where: 1890 Wazee St., Denver
When: Monday: 12 – 9 p.m. Tuesday – Thursday: 12 – 10 p.m. Friday: 12 – 11 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. Sunday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
The Lowdown: Beginning on October 29 from 5 p.m. to close, the local Southwestern specialty eatery in LoDo will offer a special menu in honor of Dia De Los Muertos. Until November 2, chef Cesar will offer a curated menu including the Elote ($7), fire-roasted corn on the cob marinated with paprika aioli and topped with Cotija cheese and cilantro. In addition, the menu features Short Rib Birra ($24), a dish served with Arroz Rojo (Spanish-style rice), soft corn tortillas, onion, cilantro to garnish and slices of avocado.
Where: 3600 Blake St., Denver
When: Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
The Lowdown: Not a local chain, but Slater 50/50 is bringing back some fan favorites this Halloween season. The October burger special ($20) offers a beef and bison burger, topped with swiss, sage garlic aioli, bacon jalapeño jam, tomato, lettuce and bacon, served with a side of fries and beer.
Also on the menu is the return of the Pumpkin Pie Milkshake ($12.99), a fan favorite that’s served with a slice of pumpkin pie, prepped in a caramel drizzled glass including soft-serve ice cream with pumpkin sauce, marshmallow fluff with a graham cracker crumbled rim. It’s topped with whipped cream, cinnamon and more caramel drizzle.
Where: 119 S. Broadway, Denver
When: Monday – Thursday: 12 – 6 p.m. Friday: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m. Saturday: 4 p.m. – 12 a.m. Sunday: 2 – 6 p.m.
The Lowdown: The historic Webber Theatre, one of Denver’s first movie theaters, opened on 119 S. Broadway. It shut down in the 70s and reopened as an adult movie theatre, Kitty South, which then shut its doors in the early 2000s. In 2015, Archetype Distillery took over the spot and revamped it into a vodka and gin tasting room and event space.
For Halloween weekend, October 29 – 31, Denver’s Archetype Distillery will offer a Fright Flight ($14-$20), where guests can sample house distillate favorites curated by bartenders ranging from sweet, botanical flavors like orange to savory ones like habanero and beef jerky. In addition, the distillery will introduce a Smoky Bloody Mary ($37 for 4) to debut its new smoked vodka, topped with dry ice.