Denver

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When the sun goes down, an entirely different side of the city is revealed. ShermansTravel experts sort through the dives and overpriced cocktails to show you the best bars and nightspots that really give a taste of the local vibe, while also pointing out the jazz clubs, theater performances, and dancehalls that travelers might not find on their own.

Denver Nightlife

Alto

This LoDo venue is the rare place that succeeds with both food and entertainment. Easy-going jazz enhances the pleasures of Northern Italian cuisine (spring pea and asparagus risotto; chicken scaloppini).

1320 15th St., CO, 303-893-2586, www.altodenver.com
Tags: nightlife | italian | jazz

Dazzle

A regular lineup of well-known performers makes this Denver’s hottest spot for cool jazz. Enjoy over cocktails, dinner, or Sunday brunch. A supper menu serves solid fare – grilled steaks and salmon – and there’s dancing in the Art Deco lounge.

930 Lincoln St., CO, 303-839-5100, www.dazzlejazz.com
Tags: nightlife | lounge | jazz | bar menu

El Chapultepec

Everyone from Sinatra to the Marsalis Brothers has swung in this smoky dive bar that’s packed in audiences since the ’50s (Jack Kerouac even brooded here when he was “on the road”). Snacks like green chilies and burritos add heat to the cool vibe.

1962 Market St., CO, 303-295-9126
Tags: nightlife | editor pick | historic | trendy | dancing | bar menu | celebrity hangout

Impulse Theater

A cast of sharp-edged actors picks a topic – Shakespeare, Broadway musicals, dime store novels – and mines its comic depths in improvised scenes; downstairs at the Wynkoop Brewery.

1634 18th St., CO, 303-297-2111, www.impulsetheater.com
Tags: nightlife | theater | bar | bar menu | comedy

JR's Bar and Grill

A mixed, mostly gay and lesbian, crowd shows up here for Broadway sing-a-longs, “twisted” bingo, and retro ’80s nights. On warm evenings the crowd spills onto an outdoor patio.

777 E. 17th St., CO, 303-831-0459, www.myjrs.com
Tags: gay and lesbian | nightlife | trendy | patio | dancing

Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret

Singers, musicians and comics hold forth in an underground room in the D&F Tower, Denver’s first skyscraper. Typical fare includes jazz, burlesque, or “Demented Divas,” a Las Vegas-style drag show.

16th St. Mall at Arapahoe, CO, 303-293-0075, www.lannies.com
Tags: nightlife | bar | bar menu | comedy

The Church

Give an old cathedral an “Industrial Retro” room, book big-name DJs and hip hop bands, hold a Goth night, and the young crowd will come. Cigars? Sushi? Wine? You find all that here, too.

1160 Lincoln, CO, 303-832-3528, www.coclubs.com
Tags: nightlife | trendy | dancing | bar menu | dj

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