Whiskey Bar History

Located at 2201 Larimer St in the Historic Ballpark Neighborhood, Whiskey Bar is located in one of Denver’s oldest and most storied districts.  Larimer St was named afterGeneral William H Larimer who lead a group of pioneers from Kansas to Denver in 1858. 

Initially there were multiple cities on both sides of the South Platte River. Seeing that there were other ways besides gold claims to get rich in the Pike's Peak region, Major General William H. Larimer acquired the land on the eastern side of the Platte River, laid out a city, and named it after territorial governor James Denver. There were other towns in the same location, and disagreements soon broke out over what the area was to be called. As legend has it, eventually a bargain was struck for the price of a barrel of whiskey, and Denver became the official name of the settlement.

Whiskey Bar occupies the first floor of the Thorndyke/Burlington Hotel Building. The Thorndyke building permit dates back to 1890. In 1901, the building was renamed the Burlington Hotel. Frank Edbrooke, the second licensed architect in Denver, designed the Burlington. Edbrooke also designed Denver’s famous Oxford Hotel and Brown Palace Hotel.

Like many historic areas, the Ballpark Neighborhood and its flagship hotel, the Burlington, saw their share of hard times. After subsisting as a convenience store, pharmacy and flop house in what was once considered a “shady part of town”, the hotel sat empty and neglected for many years. In the 1990’s the building was purchased and so began it’s revitalization.

Thorndykes Coffee Shop (after the Burlington’s original moniker) was opened in 1999 in what is now Whiskey Bar’s main bar room. You can still view the antique coffee cup sign hanging overhead, originally hung on the front of another coffee shop on Larimer St…and no it’s not for sale. The upper floors of the Burlington were converted into apartments.  Red Shift framing did it’s business downstairs and Gallery Rouge resided on the main floor in what is now the game room.  In 2003, Thorndykes was purchased and started it’s transformation into Whiskey Bar.  Red Shift and Gallery Rouge moved nearby and Whiskey Bar took over the entire space to become what you see today.

 "Someplace Different in Denver. If you are a whiskey pro, join the tour! This place has a great "local" atmosphere that you can't find anywhere else in Denver, especially Downtown. Great staff and they have over 190 different whiskies plus all the other good stuff at reasonable prices and Great Happy Hours...$3.00 U-Call-Its."

"Definetly beats all the other bars in the lodo area as it has more whiskey than you can imagine and free foosball. The whiskey tour is a challenge and a lot easier to find parking at Whiskey than there is at other... "

"Jumpin' Joint. Cassidy and Kerouak would be regulars at this joint! What a great find! This place is so unique for a Denver bar. I loved the friendly atmosphere and great people. Get outta LoDo Baby - check it out!"

"This is a great local bar.  No food service, but the atmosphere is just  relaxing.. It is brick with ceiling fans.  They have a great happy hour from 4-7 everyday with a u- call- it menu of drinks for $3, which includes all draft  beers (Colorado Craft Beers, too). Exceptional service. Spin the wheel and you might get a free drink after happy hour.  It looks like a cantina. We love the extensive beer taps that are cold."

"Laid back neighborhood bar. Pub quiz some nights. Thoughtful bartenders. Great selection of whiskey. Reasonable happy hour deals. Highly recommended."

"Favorite bar in Denver,  didn't know about it till I moved into a loft above it. All the staff is great and know how to pour a proper whiskey drink at a good price. Much better bar then some of the surrounding bars."
The Mostly Complete List of Offerings
(we always have some rare and special release whiskies)