As Death & Co owners David Kaplan and Alex Day stood on the patio of their new home at the Ramble Hotel recently, they couldn’t help but feel bemused by their new surroundings.
“We’re used to dark rooms,” said Kaplan, who along with Day and Ravi DeRossi opened the original Death & Co in a windowless New York City room more than 10 years ago.
But they’d heard Denverites really like to be outside, so there they stood on a warm April day, explaining how they’ll apply their talent for craft cocktails to a tropical patio menu. It’s just one piece of the multi-bar project they’re running inside Denver’s new Ramble Hotel at 25th and Larimer streets.
It’s a different setting for the Death & Co team, and something a bit different for Denver, too.
That was the seed of the idea for Ryan Diggins, founder and owner of The Ramble — creating a kind of place Denver didn’t already have.
“The Ramble Hotel was an idea that I came up with in my head about four or five years ago. It was the idea of creating a culturally relevant hotel,” he said. “Hotels can really set the tone in a neighborhood and be an enclave. … We really wanted to create a welcoming living room for people in the neighborhood and people visiting Denver.”
Once he decided the hotel should have an “old-school, grandiose hotel bar,” he started looking for the right team to build it. That’s where the conversation got started with the Death & Co crew, who were shopping around the country for a spot to put the first outpost of their highly acclaimed bar.
“We’ve always thought about growth but we wanted to make sure … we knew what we were doing,” Kaplan said.
Now, in the spring of 2018, The Ramble Hotel is open for business with Death & Co occupying several corners of the building.
Downstairs, Death & Co is already running the lobby bar as well as a small café, DC/AM, that serves brunch from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Upstairs they’ve got the patio space, The Garden, which should open sometime in the middle of May, and Suite 6A, a dark, 20-seat room slated to open in June.
The various menus are extensive, to say the least, so for a good idea of what they’re mixing up there, you should browse them yourself.
“What we’re really excited for is to blur the line between food and drink,” Day said. “A lot of that creativity will be very much the center of the show here.”
If you want to figure out what that really means, you’ll just have to try it. At the main bar, a cocktail will run you $8-16 and snacks, meals and desserts will run you $5-47. At DC/AM, cocktails are all $11 and food runs $9-17.
Correction: And earlier version of this story identified Nick Fauchald as a Death & Co founder. He is actually a co-author of the Death & Co book.