bar helix Delivers Exceptional Cocktails in RiNo

The ‘Swirl Girl’ brings elegant libations to RiNo

Some places just exude cool.

There are a number of bars and restaurants that try desperately to create that indeterminate ‘it’ factor that you recognize when you first walk in the door; bar helix {3440 Larimer Street, Denver; 720.449.8587} seems to effortlessly achieve this. It might be the decor that evokes the best of mid-century modern aesthetics, recreating how one imagines London’s Playboy Club in the 60’s.

The food is both playful and decadent, producing the feeling of something familiar in a completely original way. Maybe it’s the cocktails, that are well thought out and expertly executed. But the real reason probably lies with the owner, Denver’s own ‘Swirl Girl’, sommelier extraordinaire Kendra Anderson, who has crafted an elevated bar experience in the heart of RiNo. Her excellent taste is on display from the curated wine selection to the small but engaging menu, from the cocktails down to the decor. It’s a bar that strives to bring elegance to the Denver cocktail scene.



photo by Morgan Carter

The Food

Kendra told me she envisioned bar food that was a bit naughty and surprising, and it was clear from the first bites that they have succeeded. Bar helix was able to tap Chef John Hadala, formerly of Il Posto, to bring her vision to life. It’s really remarkable the level of food that’s coming out of a small kitchen. There are a lot of places serving ‘elevated bar food’, but where bar helix succeeds is delivering small bites that are both surprising and memorable.

photo by Morgan Carter

The Naughty Waffles are made with crispy tater tots, smoked salmon, everything-seeded cream cheese, and decadently topped with caviar.

photo by Morgan Carter

Bar Helix Crack Mix with cereal, za’atar spice, elevation charcuterie bacon bits, pita chips, and herbed chickpea crackers was addictive.

photo by Morgan Carter

The delightful Smoked Crab Salad with avocado, sweet crab, bibb lettuce cups, pickled shallots, and housemade herbaceous dressing.

photo by Morgan Carter

The Cocktails

The food was delicious but what will keep patrons coming back are the delectable alcoholic concoctions. The Negroni was one of the better iterations of the drink I’ve ever tried, with a balance to the classic cocktail that was delightful. There will be a rotating choice of four different options that negroni lovers drinkers will be able to sample in the coming months.

photo by Morgan Carter

The standout winner for me though was the Safe Word, an amazing combination of Partida blanco tequila, bruto americano, and Cointreau, which was refreshing and subtle while producing hints of grapefruit, despite that ingredient not being in the drink. Bar helix should be at the top of your list the next time you want to try a great cocktail in an engaging environment.



4-midnight Tuesday-Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday

Peter Gietl, Managing Editor

Peter Gietl