I am a wanderlust bohemian and a traveling erotic-noir burlesque performer. Some call it a “Traveling ShowGirl.” I’m also a nightlife producer and sensual erotic movement instructor. This extends beyond burlesque. My fields of interest include BDSM, Theater, Pole Dance, Spoken Word AND Burlesque. If it touches the erotic healing arts, I’m all for it.
I’m lucky enough that not only have I heavily toured for two years with a burlesque production company as a troupe member hitting 30 cities every 3 months, I’m also called upon as an individual artist with SpeakEasy Noir or Siren Pack for national and international festivals, retreats, shows, corporate events, private celebrations and more. Thus when given the opportunity to travel and perform in 3 burlesque shows in Denver, Colorado, I checked flights and said FUCK YES.
Considering there is a time difference and elevation difference, I decided to extend my trip so that it’s a Bleisure trip. (That’s a hybrid of business and leisure.) With those additional days to continue working remotely without interruption for some of my clients, I also have some time to explore. Some of the first things I googled were erotic experiences, romantic date night options, active and immersive activities, and sexy speakeasies. What follows is a mini-series on all the things I found to do while planning my erotic burlesque itinerary for Denver, Colorado.
SPEAKEASIES IN NEW YORK CITY
I love speakeasies. They feel more subversive, mysterious, adventurous and provocative than a regular bar. Even if its just a regular new bar with a speakeasy aesthetic, interesting theme and fun entrance, I’ll like it too if they create an immersive experience. Now let it be an authentic speakeasy from the prohibition era…even better for my job. Here’s my list of 14 fascinating speakeasy bars in Denver, Colorado.
1. The Back Room
- Website: BackRoomNYC.com
- About: The Back Room is one of only two speakeasies in New York City that operated during Prohibition and is still in existence today.
2. The Ship
- Website: TheShipNYC.com
- About: Walking along Lafayette Street in Little Italy, people looking for The Ship might have a hard time. The entrance is located between two stores and marked with a single flag.
3. Reynard Social
- Website: ReynardSocial.com
- About: Tucked on the 6th floor of a luxury hotel, is a hidden, modern chalet with cozy seating and a fireplace. There’s a particular menu item that caught me eye. “House Cured Trout Lox – smoked trout roe, brown butter creme fraiche, apple, and dill” !!!
Their own website says, “Inspired by Reynard the Fox, a mythological rogue with a lovable sneer, Reynard Social is LoDo’s newest spot to get up to no good. A swanky lounge dedicated to harmless trickery, this Victrola-designed listening room & bar floats high above the hustle of Lower Downtown, boasting one of the best views in Denver. If you and your crew of fellow vixens are in search of a venue to misbehave, you’ve found it at this Alpine chalet in the center of LoDo. Perfect for any night to remember and sure to impress your CEO, power squad, or group of ne’er-do-wells, Reynard Social embodies all the glamour of Aspen or Vail without the four-hour drive. It’s LoDo, Elevated.”
4. Cooper Lounge
- Website: CooperLounge.com
- About: Situated in the mezzanine of Denver Union Station, Cooper Lounge is a romantic, classy and upscale speakeasy vibe with high end cocktails and exquisite meus that are paired with stunning views. Its glamorous and gives off the high style of travel from another era. It makes me think of all things BURLESQUE, especially as it pays homage to the era of chic cocktail lounges from the 1920s and 30s.
5. The Cruise Room
- Website: TheOxfordHotel.com
- About: A hidden gem preserved in the chic glamour of the Prohibition-era, The Cruise Room is an iconic local landmark in Denver. Sleek and inviting, The Cruise Room showcases a wide array of unique design features, including a distinct Art Deco design and wine bottle-shaped layout. Located inside the Oxford Hotel, its Denver’s oldest watering hole born after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933.
- Website: RetrogradeDnvr.com
- About: Retrograde is a discreet, petite, and stylish lounge with clever cocktails hidden in the back of an ice cream shop in Uptown Denver. Upon arriving at Frozen Matter Uptown, simply bypass the ice cream counter, and head toward the freezer door. Turn on the light switch, and wait for a member of staff to greet you.
7. Run For The Roses
- Website: RFTRBar.com
- About: Into the alley mid-Dairy Block, up the stairs, onto the elevator, down a narrow subterranean hallway, through a door in an etched glass wall you’ll discover Run For The Roses (RFTR). Run For The Roses, the underground lair at Dairy Block, pays homage to the elegant cocktail clubs of yesteryear. There are hints of superstition and luck seen throughout. RFTR is trendy, romantic, swanky, classy and upscale in which their libation menu is a deck of cards, each card featuring a cocktail and its ingredients.
8. Green Russell
- Website: GreenRussell.com
- About: Green Russell is a chef-driven cocktail joint featuring one of the largest rare whiskey collections in Denver. It’s a stylish, prohibition-styled underground lair in which you enter through what seems like a little cafe.
9. Miller and Rossi
- Website: MillerAndRossi.com
- About: Miller and Rossie is a contemporary cocktail lounge where art meets mixology. Local art is married with a speakeasy-style bar. To enter the bar portion of the gallery, find the door that’s outlined with a picture frame. Even though there’s no password or secret code to enter the “speakeasy,” the vibe between the gallery and bar changes drastically. The lighting is dimmer, with orange and blue hues illuminating the copper bar and plush seats.
10. Luci’s Shambles & Provisions
- Website: Try @Lucis_Shambles_Provisions (They’re website is currently down.)
- About: According to their bio, Luci’s Shambles and Provisions is, “A place to be whoever you want to be and however you want to be that person. Bring us your shambles and we will give you the provisions to heal. Luci’s Shambles and Provisions.” This eclectic late-night speakeasy includes burlesque shows, turquoise velvet chairs, drinks like the Black Dahlia (complete with black sugar rim), and duck thigh. Head through the glass door to the right of Modis’ entrance and take the stairs down to the basement.
11. Five Nines
- Website: ClaytonDenver.com
- About: Five Nines is a clandestine speakeasy-like bar in Denver, Colorado located underneath the Clayton Members Club and Hotel hidden behind an unmarked door. Its a dark moody, film-noir like space where you see something interesting no matter where you sit, including the micro performances by Hard Candy Dancers including pole dance, aerial and burlesque. Each vignette begins hidden behind a curtain. On their Instagram account, they say the performances happen daily!
HONORABLE SUBVERSIVE MENTIONS
12. Hooked on Colfax
- Website: HookedOnColfax.com
- About: Hooked on Colfax is an eclectic, buzzy java spot with outdoor patio space featuring programming that includes poetry nights, standup comedy, art markets and even photoshoots with your favorite pagan demon monster. In addition to being a coffeeshop, cafe and bar, they also have two community spaces, one being The Speakeasy!
13. Bistro Vendome
- Website: BistroVendome.com
- About: Bistro Vendome is a French restaurant on Denver’s Larimer Street inspired by traditional left bank-style cafes with a garden. It’s considered one of the most romantic restaurants in Denver with a slightly modern twists on French standards. It has an inviting patio tucked into a secluded courtyard and an intimate interior with Old World touches. On warm summer evenings, the patio is the sweet spot for a leisurely romantic rendezvous.
14. Honey Elixir Bar
- Website: HoneyElixirBar.com
- About: Honey Elixir is a haven for cocktail lovers and the sober curious. It is an Apothecary-inspired, craft cocktail lounge that offers guests a full sensory experience of health, connection, and rejuvenation. Their menu features nonalcoholic potions, boozy drinks, and wholesome snacks. It’s very woo woo and eccentric. Their potions are intentionally crafted non-alcoholic elixirs, meant to elicit a thought, feeling or idea and each features different crystal and flower essences. Don’t get me started that they serve Cacao and Jun, which apparently is the cousin of Kombucha.
According to their website, “The Jun SCOBEY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) is much more rare and unique in that it exclusively feeds on honey and the result is a deliciously an effervescent beverage rich in probiotics, prebiotics and amino acids.”
Which Speakeasy do you think I’ll visit? Which one would you recommend I visit?
As mentioned, I’m traveling to Denver, Colorado as part of my burlesque tour to perform in three shows. (SlutChurch, Do Both and Conspiracy Circus). In addition to being meticulous about how I pack my burlesque tour bag using my travel checklist, I’m also researching and preplanning my bleisure trip to have the most blissful and curious adventure. My googling and polling have led to a mini-series, “Burlesque Adventures – Denver, Colorado.” Upcoming articles include Burlesque Shows, BDSM & Lifestyle Experiences, Active Experiences, and even Geeky Experiences, along with some special mentions. If you enjoy sensual, erotic, and subversive travel, I hope you enjoy my curated lists and suggested itineraries!