Visit Denver’s Longest-running Bar This Weekend – The Cruise Room

Photo Courtesy of The Cruise Room

If you’re looking to wine and dine where the walls have a story to tell, take a cruise through time at Denver’s longest-running bar, The Cruise Room. This iconic bar is located in the historic Oxford Hotel in LoDo and offers a renowned getaway in the heart of the city. Between its fascinating history, chic décor, delectable cocktails and delicious small plates, we’ll give you a glimpse into this Denver gem that will entice you to make this your next go-to spot.

Photo Courtesy of The Cruise Room

The Cruise Room swiftly established its presence as the first bar to open in Denver after the repeal of the Prohibition in 1933. Several decades later, the bones of the bar still stand firm as it boasts an array of history from its Prohibition roots. As you step through the doors of this time capsule, the glowing red walls and vintage accents swallow you in an art deco ambiance similar to its original decor from the 1930s. “The Cruise Room was designed in a similar fashion to the bar on the RMS Queen Mary, with a wine bottle-shaped layout,” said Charlotte Rubald, bar lead at The Cruise Room.

After changing hands of several owners and enduring many facelifts over the years, the soul of The Cruise Room still shines with its speakeasy appeal and historical details. According to Rubald, some of the bar’s original details that you can still spot include its marble floor, vintage jukebox and hand-carved panels on the walls, which depict different ways to say “cheers” worldwide.

Photo Courtesy of The Cruise Room

After getting cozy in one of the sleek booths or settling in at a seat at the bar, a refreshing beverage will soon be calling your name. “The Cruise Room was originally known for its classic martinis, and the space has always been known for perfecting classic pre-prohibition staples such as the Sazerac and the Manhattan,” Rubald said. In addition to the selection of classic cocktails and the impressive beer and wine list, Rubald said the bar also offers reimagined libations that take their inspiration from the many ports depicted on the room’s wall paneling, such as the Piña Picante ($16), which features tequila, coconut cream, pineapple, lime, crème de cacao and Tajin. If you’re in the mood for something on the classic side, we agree with Rubald—you can never go wrong with the traditional whiskey sour ($16).

After nearly 90 years of serving booze, we can confirm that The Cruise Room has its mixology perfected, and you can expect some of Denver’s finest drink selections.

Photo Courtesy of The Cruise Room on Facebook

If you’re in the mood for a bite, be sure to check out their delicious menu featuring small plates and sweets, which change seasonally. The Cruise Room is one of our go-to places for fresh oysters on the half shell ($4.5 each), served with a refreshing lemon mignonette. If you’re looking for something to share, try the cheese and charcuterie board ($24) which features an artisanal selection of charcuterie, both local and old-world cheese selections paired with pickled vegetables and grilled bread. Whether you go for a savory or sweet bite, you won’t regret ordering anything off the menu to satisfy your tastebuds.

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On top of its appealing offerings and distinct decor, The Cruise Room also boasts a unique flair you may not find at any other bar in Denver. The tales of ghost stories are plentiful, and if you’re anything like us, we love a good ghost story thrill to go with our cocktails. “Over the decades, many guests have reported seeing a gentleman in a postman uniform visit The Cruise Room,” Rubald said. According to Rubald, he comes in, sits at the bar and orders a beer while muttering words about delivering gifts. We have yet to spot this elusive ghost during our visits but keep an eye out when you venture in because you might get lucky to witness this blast from the past.

As a staple in Denver’s cocktail scene, this lounge never ceases to deliver a chic ambiance with a twist of history. Its inviting atmosphere is welcoming for any crowd seeking to enjoy a drink or a tasty bite. We can’t think of a better way to enjoy a piece of history in Denver. So, when cocktail hour calls this weekend, take a trip to The Cruise Room and experience an unforgettable time in the Mile High City.

The Cruise Room is located at 1600 17th St, Denver, and is open Sunday – Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday – Saturday, 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Editor’s Note: Updated on 4/11 to reflect a more accurate headline. 

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