While there’s no shortage of cocktail bars with a theme—be it a Prohibition-era speakeasy, a tiki hut, or dark jazz lounge—it can be nice to escape to a bar that is simply that: a bar. Occidental, Sean Kenyon’s newly opened LoHi spot, takes the hospitality and quality of cocktails provided by its award-winning sister bar, Williams & Graham, and adds its own endearingly casual style.
A concise handful of classic cocktails—daiquiri, Tom Collins, old fashioned—leads off the menu. Those are complemented by six signature drinks, including the Gooch—a mix of rye, Applejack, and amaro. Beer drinkers will find a 10-tap selection of local brews ($3 to $6) and an assortment of bottles and cans ranging from a $3 Budweiser to Stiegl’s refreshing grapefruit radler ($6).
To match its lax environment, the food offerings from Occidental’s mainstay State Fare food truck draw inspiration from the county fair. Nab a corn dog ($8), elevated with Cart-Driver’s mortadella hot dog and served with a sweet and spicy honey mustard spiked with togarashi; or a breakfast-for-dinner johnnycake sandwich ($8) with savory braised pork belly, a sunny side-up egg, Calabrian chile, and a sweet drizzle of syrup.
Occidental isn’t kitschy, and there’s nothing ironic about its approachability and effortlessly cool vibe. Instead it has an honest, unthemed sensibility that’s found in every sip, bite, and experience you have between its exposed brick walls.
Visit: 1950 W. 32nd Ave.