Hotel Boulderado Bars Get a Makeover

Strawberry Basil Martini and Strawberry Citrus Salad (Mixed Greens, Basil, Orange, Avocado, Orange, Chevre, & Balsamic Reduction
Strawberry Basil Martini and Strawberry Citrus Salad (Mixed Greens, Basil, Orange, Avocado, Orange, Chevre, & Balsamic Reduction

Hotel Boulderado is a beautiful historic hotel in Boulder, open since 1909. It is home to two bars/restaurants, The Corner Bar and The Catacombs, which both recently underwent major renovations. The Corner Bar is now a casual, Western-inspired saloon with a new cocktail and food menu. And what had been called The Catacombs is now License No. 1, a distilled spirits focused bar and lounge reminiscent of an upscale speakeasy. 

Moose head over the bar with sombrero for Cinco de Mayo
Moose head over the bar with sombrero for Cinco de Mayo

I used to visit both bars when I lived in Boulder several years ago, so it was fun to see how they have changed. I enjoyed some excellent food and cocktails at The Corner Bar when I recently stopped in to check out the remodel.

Boulder Beer's Nitro Mojo IPA and Red Pepper Hummus (Grilled Flatbread, Lemon Oil, Artichoke Gremolata)
Boulder Beer’s Nitro Mojo IPA and Red Pepper Hummus (Grilled Flatbread, Lemon Oil, Artichoke Gremolata)

The place looks great and has a nice open, comfortable feel. Located at 13th & Spruce in downtown Boulder, it is a prime people-watching spot, especially from their patio. unnamed (4)With its Old West theme, The Corner Bar now truly feels like the perfect fit for the historic Hotel Boulderado.

Ice sculpture, complete with tube for pouring cocktails
Ice sculpture, complete with tube for pouring cocktails

All of the drinks and appetizers I tried were delicious. They had many vegetarian items on the menu, and my favorite was the Caprese Arancini (below).

Caprese Arancini (Sundried Tomato and Mozzarella Risotto Fritters, Basil Aioli)
Caprese Arancini (Sundried Tomato and Mozzarella Risotto Fritters, Basil Aioli)

I really like the new look (and menus) of The Corner Bar. After checking it out I was eager to go downstairs to see the changes that were made to The Catacombs, now called License No. 1, a distilled spirits focused bar with a cocktail menu created by Allison Widdecombe, the award-winning bartender from Williams & Graham in Denver.

The Brown Derby: Boulderado’s branded Buffalo Trace Bourbon, fresh grapefruit juice, and honey
The Brown Derby: Boulderado’s branded Buffalo Trace Bourbon, fresh grapefruit juice, and honey

The Catacombs was one of Boulder’s first businesses to be granted a liquor license after the 1967 repeal of the city’s liquor ban. Its motto is Serving since 1989, Legally Since 1969. While it has had the reputation in the past for being a “party” bar beloved by University of Colorado students, its new concept is taking it back to its roots.unnamed (13) License No. 1 will feature live music Wednesdays through Saturdays and Classic Movie Night on Sundays.

In addition to the new cocktail menu, License No. 1 also has a nice selection of craft beers on tap.

Ice sculpture
Ice sculpture

Those who have been to the bar formerly known as The Catacombs will be surprised and delighted at the new look and feel of License No. 1. Cheers!

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