Drink at Seven Great Denver is probably going to look a bit like glamping. That’s because the newly opened Los Angeles whiskey bar transplant is, at its heart, a community-driven pub. But on closer inspection, its chic and comfortable decor, hospitality-driven service model, and Dairy Block digs make it feel like a lot more.
The Seven Grand’s motto – “Whiskey for the people” – belies the dive bar side of its personality. Also by the way, the taxidermy animals peering out from almost any wall, the custom checkered carpet, the old-fashioned wallpaper, the exposed brickwork, the $ 1 per game pool tables, the Americana jukebox, and the alcohol offers listed on the board.
Elevate each of these intimate details and you’ll have a better idea of what to expect at Seven Grand. The stuffed animals – elk, bears, deer, moose, squirrels – are all native to the West. There are playful glass curiosity cabinets filled with vintage ceramic liquor bottles and dioramas designed by local artist Bill “Willie” Nelson bearing Molly Brown artifacts. The long walnut bar, rich burgundy leather banquettes, and hand-studded, hand-rolled bar stools glow under warm brass lighting; the crystals bounce their beams off the tops of pool tables. And boy, those 450+ whiskey bottles are shining from their backlit pillars. Even the carpet, intended for traditional Irish pubs, brings warmth to the space while keeping the acoustics comfortable.
Oh, and the Seven Grand sign lighting your way to the entrance? The logo was designed by Shepard Fairey (the well-known street artist), and the neon is all hand-blown.
Andrew Abrahamson, director of liquor bars for the owner of the brand 213 Hospitality, says Denver made sense for Seven Grand’s next outpost (after offshoots from Los Angeles to San Diego and Austin, Texas). “This is our first place in cold weather,” he says, “this is the climate in which whiskey should be consumed. 213 Hospitality Group also fell in love with the 4,400 square foot Dairy Block location at the corner of Blake and 19th Streets, feeling a connection between the building’s history and the classic Seven Grand vibe. “This place already had a built-in soul,” says Abrahamson.
Seven Grand is now open and ready to share their incredible whiskey collection with Denver drinkers. “We start with around 450 bottles, but we should be down to 700 by the summer,” says Pedro Shanahan, Seven Grand’s “spirit guide”. Customers are encouraged to talk about which brown bottles they would like to see filled with the library, which includes an extensive collection of rye, scotch, bourbon, and unique signature casks from around the world.
In addition to whiskey of all kinds, Seven Grand has a menu of craft cocktails, three custom taps (pour in homemade ginger ale, a seasonal cranberry-rosemary soda and an old-fashioned batch) and eight beers on tap. from Colorado. Potato chips and beef jerky are available for snacking, but those with a bigger appetite are allowed and encouraged to order from nearby restaurants such as Pony Up or Milk Market across the alley.
Starting November 15, Seven Grand will host live jazz, blues and bluegrass groups on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and in early December its Whiskey Society will begin, offering special weekly seminars and tastings for members. The establishment of a “Century Club” rewards program for customers who have tried 100 whiskeys at the bar is also coming up.
Seven Grand (1855 Blake St., Suite 160) is open seven days a week from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.