McCabe’s Tavern may be a beloved downtown spot with an established fan base, but that hasn’t stopped the bar and restaurant from reinventing itself to keep pace. The most obvious change was an interior swap that saw it go from Irish bar to modern gastropub. Now comes a new late-night happy hour, and a cocktail menu full of Colorado liquors.
“I chose my new cocktails for two main reasons,” says co-owner Ari Howard in an interview with the Report. “The first being that I source much of my liquor locally and I wanted to drive the sales of my drinks in that direction. I want to support businesses who support our community and our local economy. 10 of my 12 new cocktails are made with local spirits. The two that aren’t are made with tequila and as we all know, we can’t get tequila locally.
“The second reason is that I love the early 1900’s original cocktail recipes that used ingredients to enhance and compliment the liquor itself instead of drowning it with high fructose corn syrup.”
Towards that end, the Howards enlisted bartender Nate Windham and distiller Ian Lee from Lee Spirits Co. and Brooklyn’s on Boulder St. (See our recent interview with Nate here.)
The results are drinks like Sippin on Gin and Jam (Lee Spirits gin, local jam, lemon, sugar); Beet It Martini (Colorado Wilderness vodka, beet/apple/ginger purée, sugar); and The Decc Hot Toddy, made with Distillery 291’s liqueur (The Decc, orange bitters, Peychaud’s Bitters, clove, lemon).
“[Windham and Lee] offered so much of their time and expertise in helping me balance the menu and train my staff,” says Howard. “Thanks to them, I now have a proper drink menu to match my new and improved food menu.”
On the food side, the new happy hour runs from 9 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and features $5 apps like crispy chicken; $2 fried avocado tacos; and chicken-and-waffle sliders.
Take a look:
[Image: Bryce Crawford]