Peering down on the locals and travelers from above, The Cooper Lounge is Union Station's cocktail bar. Whether you're passing through, waiting to get your train ticket punched, or exploring Denver for a while, the bar located on the mezzanine is an intimate spot to grab a drink.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Travis Platt Contributing writer
Along our travels, in our quest for unrivaled environments, we quite often come across a building that harbors enough historic energy that you can feel it deep in your bones. We’ve all felt it before; in these modern catacombs, spirits from a distant past dance over your head, leaving a chill that brushes past your cheek, pupils dilate, and an invisible sense heightens with intrigue.
When you enter under the orange neon signage of Denver’s Union Station, you’ll find this exact resonance, simultaneously imagining the faint sounds of steaming engines and echoing whistles that filled the space over a century ago. A recent revamp within has stayed true to the history of the station while pulling a modern curtain over what is widely known as Denver’s living room. But beneath the shiny new paint, you can still sense the anitquity.
Pick a stool to witness the late day sun shoot down 17th Street like a locomotives headlight through a dim mountainous pass.
By now, you know we seek a very specific atmosphere, but we wouldn’t be doing Denver justice without featuring this entire landmark, as it has an array of rewards for any person pulling off the tracks for a short or long stay in the city.
Two bars are available to shovel the glowing coal into your life engine and steam you forward through any night. Atop the mezzanine overlooking the station, you’ll find the sharp sounds of shiny metal shaking and vigorously stirring liquid sophistication in the Cooper Lounge. True cocktail conductors keep things classic here, delivering a specific post-prohibition style and glamour along a polished marble bar top. Pick a stool to witness the late day sun shoot down 17th Street like a locomotives headlight through a dim mountainous pass.
Downstairs, built out of the historic ticketing office, is the Terminal Bar. The draft selection here reaches as far as the tracks around Colorado, cascading some of the best of the state’s microbreweries with a simple pull of a brass-numbered ball. The turn-of-the-century aesthetic is a visual paradigm of how architects aimed to make the 100-year-old bellow contain a historic nod with modern form. With a few drinks come quick cravings, so make sure to head into Stoic & Provisions or Mercantile depending on what suits your appetite.
If your imbibing finds you lingering to last call, The Crawford Hotel offers a superior form of accommodation and will assist in heaving your mental lever to bring you to a sparking and screeching halt for some much deserved relaxation and shelter. Built within the station, The Crawford is the the ultimate LoDo hotel to call home for devoted days of exploring our Cyties staples like The Green Russell, which is an easy trek down the street. If you’re looking go farther up to Bar Fausto, take advantage the courtesy Tesla pick-up and drop-off service.
Chances are that you arrived to the state of the 14ers by the air. After days of hitting the concrete and nights of dancing with the station spirits of the past under the chandelier’s glow, we strongly recommend a stiff Colorado whiskey neat at Cooper Lounge and leaving the same way generations did before you: with a full flask and a window seat, smoothly gliding down the tracks to your next destination.
The Crawford Hotel — built in — is the perfect stay to explore LoDo if you have an early train out
If you’re staying overnight, take advantage of the complimentary Tesla drop off and pick up
Hit Stoic & Genuine a multi-coastal seafood, oyster house & granita bar committed to fresh, sustainable & creative seafood dishes
Gin & Tonic kind of man? Stop in Ultreia to refresh the soul
GQ Barber Lounge is down the block if you need a quick cut