Hidden But Not Secret – Five Nines opens in Cherry Creek

Tucked away discreetly behind a service door on the southeast corner of the Clayton Members Club and Hotel, Cocktail aficionados and insiders alike will find the building’s newest tenant, Five Nines.

Photo by Brandi Ashman

The name, derived from a term for the finest silver (99.999% pure, or “Five Nines”), is a love letter to cocktail culture purists. The bar offers a progressive menu that runs through an evolution of cocktails. It starts with “Uncut Gems” a nod to the classic drinks that gave rise to cocktail culture. The Pimm’s Cup, Vespers and Old Fashioned (all $13) all make an appearance, and the bartenders get an eye on what made them great in the first place.

Corn For all its old school charm, this place is not to be left in the past. On the next page of the menu, “Forged in Fire” returns to the theme of forged metal, with each of its drinks evoking fire in the form of spice, temperature, or fire itself. The absinthe is flambéed in the glass for the Quick Fix ($13) and the Chartreuse ignites on the Dragon’s Breath ($13), setting these otherwise vintage drinks apart from their roots.

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The final stop on this journey through the annals of cocktail evolution is ‘Compounds and Concoctions’ – an opportunity for mixologists to leave their mark. The drinks menu was created by Kyle Bobkowski, formerly of Seven Grand and Poka Lola, and Eugene Marenya, formerly of American Bonded. The last page of the menu gives them artistic license to forge their own unique take on cocktail culture. Ranging from exotic takes like the Unbreakable Link ($15) with matcha tea infused St. Germain, luxardo bitters and Italicus Bergamotto to simple exaltations of impeccable liqueurs such as One Eye Open ($15) with Aberfeldy 12 enhanced with turmeric honey and lemon, these cocktails are dripping with panache.

Each stop along the way features a non-alcoholic option that has been carefully mixed to match the theme, such as the Tres Pomelos topped with a burnt grapefruit. Alcohol or not, you’re bound to have a great time, and cocktails aren’t the only thing on the menu.

At approximately hourly intervals each evening, the bar’s hosts presented performances on its intimate stage. Low tables and booths face the curtains which open to reveal a small stage for the performers to the local Hard Candy Dancers to light up the room with performances ranging from burlesque to contortionism.

Photo by David Lauer

“We truly believe that the combination of creative craft cocktails and playful bar bites, complemented by unique immersive entertainment, is unlike anything else in the city,” Marenya said.

The food matches the setting perfectly. The menu was curated by Clayton Members Club Executive Chef Greg Deflorio, who took the opportunity to curate a set of appetizers to suit the exclusive venue. Small plates to classic bar standards to match the flavors and ambiance range from Homemade Malt Vinegar Potato Chips ($9) to a plate of Serrano and Manchego ham with pickled vegetables ($18) featuring Gran Reserva Serrano that melts in your mouth.

The place exudes class, with the cocktails and food served in the dimly lit room reminiscent of an underground jazz club. Coffee tables and an impressive selection of premium bottles behind the bar encased in brass fixtures and sleek wooden shelving make up the space. At the back of the room, a low stage hides behind heavy curtains from which the performers periodically emerge. The whole is undeniably sulphurous. The texture of the jamón, the taste of the cocktails on the tongue, and the silky dances elicit a feeling of relaxed luxury.

Photo by Brandi Ashman

Five Nines is an immersive tribute to cocktail culture with no expense spared. His attention to detail sets him apart from the traditional Denver cocktail scene. It’s no secret, but you’ll need to keep a close eye out to find the right door to this new Denver gem.

Five Nines is located under the Clayton Members Club and Hotel at 233 Clayton St, Denver. It is open Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday evenings from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.Ivital events.

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