Courtesy of Call Me Pearl

Call Me Pearl is Denver’s Stunning New Cocktail Bar




Call Me Pearl is a gorgeous new cocktail bar in downtown Denver—and it’s perfect for your next romantic date night.


The bar opened last month on the ground floor of the Rally Hotel, which is part of the broader McGregor Square entertainment complex. Situated across the street from Coors Field in Denver’s Lower Downtown, or LoDo, neighborhood, Call Me Pearl is an ideal spot to grab a drink before catching a show at the Denver Center for Performing Arts or after perusing the shops at Dairy Block. Or, just head down for a romantic evening on the town, complete with clever cocktails and flavor-packed small plates.


The chandelier. Photo by Sarah Kuta


The entire space is stunning, but the true star of the show is the massive chandelier hanging from the vaulted ceiling. The piece is made up of more than 1,350 small glass orbs that look like delicate pearls, which are arranged in concentric circles and on dangling lines. It’s more like a work of art than a light fixture, and it adds a lot of depth and glamor to the bar.


Intimate tables. Courtesy of Call Me Pearl


No matter where you choose to sit, you’re going to want to linger for a while. The intimate tables feature rounded leather lounge chairs on one side and a plush, fabric-covered banquette on the other. The three-sided bar, meanwhile, is flanked by comfy, half-moon-shaped bar stools. A few high-top tables sit near the tall windows, while a living room-inspired area—complete with couches and armchairs—beckons near the entrance.


Antiques, throw pillows, plants and other curated trinkets make the entire space feel warm and inviting—as does the color palette, which incorporates taupe, mauve and pops of dark green.


The bar, comfy couches and armchairs. Courtesy of Call Me Pearl


Once you sit down, you’ll face the difficult decision of which creative cocktails to order. A few standouts are the Velvet Dreams, made with vodka, absinthe, sparkling rosé, lime, mint and butterfly flower tea, as well as the Sally’s Rose Garden, which combines vodka, maraschino liqueur, egg white, raspberry, lemon and rose water. I ordered one of each and loved them both. My date opted for the Salt & Pepper Vesper, a perfectly balanced martini made with gin, vodka, dry vermouth and a salt and pepper tincture—which was also incredibly tasty.


The Ahi Poke Wontons. Courtesy of Call Me Pearl


The menu also features several classic cocktails—each with its own Call Me Pearl twist. The Coconut Washed Negroni, for instance, pairs the traditional ingredients of a negroni (gin, vermouth and campari) with a hint of coconut. Another great option is the Call Me Old Fashioned, which is made with bourbon,  angostura bitters and lavender honey.


The bar also has an extensive wine list featuring 18 wines by the glass, plus an additional 50 bottles of wine from all over the world. For the beer drinkers in your crew, there are plenty of options too—from Colorado craft beers to imports.


The Ginger Grinch (from the holiday menu) and the Velvet Dreams. Photo by Sarah Kuta


For snacks while you sip, consider the Olive-Anchovy Tapenade, a bold spread served with a warm baguette, or the Garlic-Chili Shrimp, served with toasted coconut and crispy rice noodles. We thoroughly enjoyed the beef carpaccio, made with parmesan, shaved onion, balsamic and truffle, as well as the Ahi Poke Wontons, which feature wasabi, sambal mayo and pineapple relish.


If you’re craving seafood, Call Me Pearl offers a selection of fresh oysters served on the half shell (served atop a playful platter of giant faux pearls), as well as Oysters Rockefeller. Or, treat yourself and order Pearl’s Caviar Service, which comes with sturgeon caviar or salmon roe, plus crème fraiche and house-made potato chips.


Pearl’s Caviar Service. Courtesy of Call Me Pearl


Executive chef Stephen Greer plans to change the menu seasonally, so Call Me Pearl will be worth revisiting time and again. The cocktail bar also hosts monthly wine dinners with pre-set menus—one of their first collaborations, held in late November, was with California winery Belle Glos.


From now through the end of the year, Call Me Pearl also has a selection of holiday-inspired cocktails on the menu, like the Ginger Grinch, a delightfully green concoction made with bourbon, ginger and matcha syrup and oatnog (a dairy-free, vegan and gluten-free alternative to traditional eggnog).


Grab a postcard at the host stand. Photo by Sarah Kuta


On your way out the door, be sure to grab a postcard and a pen at the host stand. You can write a quick note to a friend or loved one and Call Me Pearl will take care of mailing it for you—stamp and all. You and your date can also snap a selfie with a Polaroid camera, then leave your photo in Call Me Pearl’s guest book. These whimsical touches—coupled with the impeccable cocktails and elegant design—really helped make Call Me Pearl feel more like a posh-yet-cozy home, rather than just another hotel lobby bar.


Call Me Pearl, inside the Rally Hotel at 1600 20th Street, Denver; open 5 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday; happy hour from 5 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made online.




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