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Williams & Graham

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3160 Tejon Street, Denver, US

AN ENTRANCE IS THERE TO AID ACCESS. But at many of The World’s 50 Best Bars the entrance is remarkably hard to find. In fact, you’re as likely to stumble on one while making a phone call, peering into a wardrobe or smelling some flowers as you are looking for a door.

Williams & Graham has gone for the classic hidden entrance, the sliding bookshelf - an excellent choice for any classically inspired bar. What’s more, the book to pull on is none other than Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book. The only sign this roadside bookshop houses a bar is the chuffing hipsters huddled outside.
Inside, it’s easy all the way. You’ll be met by a fog of mid-century Mississippi Delta blues in an early 20th-century setting. Sean Kenyon, who owns the place with Todd Colehour, says the bar takes a lot from his father and grandfather’s places and is decked out with dark woods with burgundy and gold trim.

In keeping with the unspoken speakeasy theme there’s low lighting and even a 100-year-old tin ceiling.
Coupled with the killer drinks, there are two reasons to have a sore head.
The cocktails are about doing more with less, with three-to-five- piece assemblages favoured. Like the food, the cocktails change with the seasons. Probably, though, it’s the service that stands out. As a neighbourhood bar should be, it’s the right side of familiar.