If you decide to go explore Green Russell, let me know about your experience by sharing your thoughts here on my blog. I could go on and on about this place, but we would be here for a while and you need to get over there…let me know what I left out. I wish you happy drinking and that you find it worthy to pass along to others.
Where do I start? Green Russell is one of my favorite new experiences to enjoy in downtown Denver and it has plenty to explore.
You can call it a restaurant, however it can also be described as an upscale, swanky bar. I was first referred to it by Vince, one of the workers at the Goorin Bros. hat store on Larimer Square. When he described it as a “speakeasy” with “prohibition style drinks”, my attention was caught! I mean, when you think of going to a new place and saying “Vince told me to ask for Joe” (perhaps in a bit of a New York accent – but I don’t have one of those), you don’t forget about it. It took me a while to finally make it to Green Russell and when I made it there, it was the beginning of a beautiful experience.
So let me set the stage…it’s underground on Larimer Square. The entrance where the hostess takes your name is quite deceiving, making it feel secretive. Definitely get reservations if you’re going on a weekend, because they book up. When they seat you, they take you in through another door to a different world. Dimly lit, you first take in the dark wood bar and large leather seats. These chairs are the only ones I’ve ever sat in that make me want to describe them as “luscious”. I’m sure the bar atmosphere has something to do with that. You have areas along one side that are small tables with two or more chairs pulled alongside them for that perfect intimate setting to enjoy romantic conversations or good laughs with your friends. The other side is graced with a beautiful, dark solid wood bar. It stretches along the length of the room, with old-school bar stools topped in red. Wood beams are throughout and the walls vary from exposed brick to rock. It is elegant, yet hip and sexy all at once.
But what bar is truly great without amazing staff. The mixologists, as is more appropriate for referring to these upscale chefs/bartenders, are decked in suspenders, vests, and either a fedora or a flatcap (from Goorin Bros. of course). Their tattoos peak out at you from their rolled up sleeves, a small reminder that you’re in the 21st century rather than the roaring 20’s (and I realize…there were tattoos back then, but you know what I mean). Now that I’ve been there several times, I’ve come to recognize most of the staff…best way to sum them up? They’re serious about what they do, get excited about the drinks they make, and most likely know about the history of your drink as well (and yes, there is a history to drinks).
Now to the real good stuff…what makes this place so unique and exceptional…the drinks! Green Russell is all about the mixology of drinks. Expect that your drink may take up to twenty minutes to make but the wait will be well worth it. They have a great drink menu that I have yet to order from. I’m stuck on the custom drink…I let the mixologist know what I like and don’t like, and sometimes toss in there how I’m feeling that night, and away they go to create a concoction I can’t imagine getting anywhere else. It truly is amazing and as easy as it is for me to get excited about things, these drinks are seriously profound. And yes, some people get hung up on the price (average of about $12/drink), but it takes no genius to realize that you get your money’s worth. There’s more alcohol in these drinks than what you get at your typical bar and the mixers are as natural as they can come – if it can be fresh squeezed or grown, Green Russell does it all themselves. Even their ice is shaved or chipped by hand from large blocks of ice that you may catch them from time to time carrying in from the back. To top it all off, they serve some delicious appetizers and amazing large slices of homemade pie served in old fashion pie tins. Last time I was there, I enjoyed the Colorado Cherry pie with whip cream made from scratch.
As you can tell, my review is all together positive and pretty exuberant. Don’t just take my word for it though. I recently took two male friends who are corporate pilots and a woman from London. All three of these people have been all over the world and experienced some of the best food, drinks, and atmosphere you can find. Did they love it? They were amazed and I quote, “blown away”. And trust me…they came into the place pretty dubious. They haven’t stopped talking about it since and sharing about it with other people…just like I’m sharing it with you.