Sitting on the corner of 14th and Champa, Sip Eat and Drink serves innovative cocktails and a snackable appetizer menu to Denver’s bar and lounge scene. Originally opening in the spring of 2018, Sip has become a go-to spot for cocktail happy hours and quick bites in the area.
Sip is one of many bars and restaurant concepts from owner Rob Armijo who was the creator behind Purple Martini in Denver. In 2009 Armijo sold the Purple Martini name and moved to Seattle where he opened another bar and lounge. It wasn’t until 2012 when Armijo decided to move back to Colorado and work on his newest project, Sip.
This lounge’s dim lighting and backlit bar add a sultry mystique to the otherwise modern atmosphere. Armijo wanted to create a contemporary space with Colorado touches. The layout is filled with live edge wood used for high top tables and decoration on the wall — providing that Colorado warmth and ambiance. Interestingly enough, all the wood used throughout the lounge comes from Armijo’s property in the Spanish Peaks. The trees were put to use by his father-in-law who is a local furniture builder. Not only is the wood used as decoration, but it is also used for the charcuterie boards with Sip’s logo burned into the corner.
While the space has a lot of personal touches from its owner, the cocktail menu also has some customization from its bartenders and the bar manager Scott Healy. The drink program is designed to allow the bartenders to explore and create new cocktails. According to manager David Folsom, if those cocktails happen to be “sip worthy” then they make it on the menu. With a competitive and creative atmosphere, the drink menu is always featuring new cocktails.
Some of the menu’s more unique takes on classics include ones such as a “clear” old fashioned and a rum-based Negroni. The Clear Old Fashioned ($12) is made with Maestro Dobel Diamante tequila, house-made clove simple syrup and orange bitters. The flavor profile matches that of a traditional old fashioned however the substitution of tequila for whiskey gives the cocktail a crystal-clear presentation.
A select list of signature cocktails takes influence from both traditional flavor profiles and unique pairings like flavored CBD oil ($4) and coffee among others.
Similar to the cocktails, the shareables menu is a collaborative effort between the staff, managers and chefs. Quite the opposite of those daring cocktails, the food menu provides a more grounded selection. Offering various comfort foods, the eats menu is stacked with items like seared brussel sprouts ($12) tossed in a sweet chili sauce, topped with candied bacon and the baked macaroni and cheese ($14) made with a cheddar cream sauce, green chili and the ability to add prosciutto, bacon or Italian sausage for an additional $4. Other items like the smoked salmon board and pork belly tacos round out the menu.
Set up more like a lounge with quick bites, Sip is a great place to check out on the way to a show or for happy hour after work. But while you may come for an expedient visit, the imaginative cocktails will make you plan a return trip.
Sip Eat and Drink is located at 891 14th St., Denver. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 3 p.m. to 12 a.m.
All Photography By Brandon Johnson