New License No. 1 Brings Classic Cocktails, Speakeasy Style to Boulder

By Douglas Brown  |  May 21, 2014
Credit: Douglas Brown

The labyrinthine bar beneath the Hotel Boulderado was the first joint in Boulder to serve liquor, wine and beer that was stronger than 3.2% alcohol, in 1969. The bar, called the Catacombs, was a shot-and-a-beer kind of place until management shuttered it this year, overhauled the interior, and gave it a new name - License No. 1. The new spot opened last night, revealing a space that's less dungeon, more speakeasy. In fact, you could even call it swank - a style that complements the posh environment of the hotel upstairs.  If your cringe from memories of people chugging pitchers of Rolling Rock inside the Catacombs, the address is definitely worth a revisit in its new incarnation, which feels like it's primed for Sinatra to walk in at any moment. 

Of course, the menus also got a facelift. You can choose from dishes like steak frites and Maine lobster rolls and wash them down with classic cocktails like Sidecars, Old Fashioneds and Blood and Sands. Visit License No. 1 from 5 PM-midnight, nights. There's live music on Wednesdays, deejays on Friday and Saturday nights and classic movies in a cool tucked-away bar on Sunday nights. And if you're not taking in a show of some sort, you can entertain yourself with pool, darts, cribbage, dice and even Barrel of Monkeys, on site. Now take a look through some of the menu highlights, below. 

  • Credit: Douglas Brown

    Ginger shrimp spears with Asian slaw, orange ponzu and sweet soy beats chicken fingers by a mile.

  • Credit: Douglas Brown

    Flatiron steak with frites, bourbon BBQ jus and a caramelized shallot butter. You're going to want to sop up every last drop of this sauce. 

  • Credit: Douglas Brown

    A big, carved ice cube keeps the Old Fashioned cold, not watery.

  • The lobster roll, stuffed with hunks of meat from Maine, comes on a toasted bun with lemon aioli.