A far cry from the exclusivity of real members’ only boating social clubs, irreverence is the name of the game at Denver’s Yacht Club, a self-proclaimed ‘anti-club club’ that bears the playful slogan: ‘Yachty by nature’. There, owners Mary Allison Wright and McLain Hedges aimed to combine three of their favorite types of drinking joints – cocktail bars, natural wine bars and dive bars – to achieve the ultimate hangout for locals and visitors alike. Thanks to its eco principles, Yacht Club is named the winner of the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award 2023.
Located in North Denver’s historic Cole neighborhood, there is zero pretension at the casual bar, which many Coloradans consider the equivalent of their modern Cheers. Drinks-wise, the programme mixes an eclectic approach of high – they have a fortified wine bottle list, for example – and low (like the Old No. 7-11 combo, which is a Jack and Coke with a hot dog). Even the finest spirits find a home in quickie combinations, which also sometimes skew somewhat nautical, with drinks like the Frozen Banana Daiquiri and Champagne Mojito bringing breezy fun to the mix, and the ‘Soft Bangers’ section of the menu features a few alcohol-free options for non-imbibers.