Where to celebrate the 21st Amendment and the end of Prohibition

A man sits near a moonshine still in Anton Herbenich's home in Pueblo, Colorado. The still consists of a covered metal container, pipes, and barrels. Bottles and jars of liquor are arranged on a counter. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-29651)
A man sits near a moonshine still in Anton Herbenich's home in Pueblo, Colorado. The still consists of a covered metal container, pipes, and barrels. Bottles and jars of liquor are arranged on a counter. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-29651)
A man sits near a moonshine still in Anton Herbenich’s home in Pueblo, Colorado. The still consists of a covered metal container, pipes, and barrels. Bottles and jars of liquor are arranged on a counter. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-29651)

Today, Dec. 5, marks an important date in American history. Today is the day we ratified the 21st Amendment, repealing Prohibition and renewing our right to get tipsy freely.

It’s almost difficult, in 2016 Colorado, to imagine an alcohol prohibition. But for 13 years, Americans had to sneak around to get some liquor and commit all sorts of crimes in the name of intoxication.

And here’s something you might not know: Colorado actually began it’s own prohibition three years before the nation did with the ratification of the 18th Amendment. Ouch.

So if the freedom to consume alcohol is the sort of thing you want to celebrate more than 80 years on, then by all means, drink up. Here are some good places to do it:

Buckhorn Exchange

1000 Osage St.

The Buckhorn Exchange, just beyond the 10th and Osage RTD stop. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) buckhorn exchange; light rail; train; transportation; bars; food; dining; drinks; denver; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty
The Buckhorn Exchange. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Home of Colorado Liquor License No. 1. What better place to celebrate the end of Prohibition than the state’s first legal bar — and at a bar that survived it.

Williams & Graham

3160 Tejon St.

Hands-down Denver’s best “speakeasy” in an age when we don’t need speakeasies. Slipping behind a bookcase to get a drink never really gets old, especially when the drinks are so good.

They don’t have reservations on weekdays, but you shouldn’t have too much trouble on a Monday night.

These are the best bars to celebrate your 21st Amendment. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite) Williams and Graham; speakeasy; bar; Highlands
The entrance to Williams & Graham. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Fort Greene

321 E. 45th Ave.

Honestly, my argument for this one is a little flimsy, but just trust me. This place has the distinct feel of a home converted into a bar. Get a fancy cocktail or a cheap beer. They’re accommodating like that.

Prohibition

504 E. Colfax Ave.

I know, it’s kinda cheesy to go there today, but it’s a great bar, so why not?

Try the crispy polenta or short ribs minis while you’re there.

These are the best bars to celebrate your 21st Amendment. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite) Prohibition; speakeasy; bar; Colfax
Drinking in Prohibition. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

Ashley Dean

Author: Ashley Dean

Ashley Dean covers dining and nightlife, and other odds and ends. She previously covered music and did some copy editing for the Denver Post, the Colorado Daily and the Daily Camera. She's from New York, likes her bourbon straight and has strong opinions about Kanye West. She can be reached at adean@denverite.com, 303-502-2804 or @AshleyDean.