Hip, Industrial Hangout
The first thing you need to know about Bar Fausto, located in Denver’s hot RiNo district, is that it’s named after cyclist Fausto Coppi. If you haven’t heard of Coppi, he was a champion cyclist in the 1940s and early 1950s, as famous for his off-course hijinks and bad habits as he was for his on-course prowess. He won the Tour de France and other prominent races by huge margins, sometimes while guzzling champagne and smoking huge stogies.
It’s this dichotomy – the indulgent and the disciplined – that inspires the attitude of Bar Fausto. The design is a masculine/feminine, urban/rustic, current/vintage mix designed by local design firm Fin Art Co. On one of the walls, retro racing stripes (a nod again to Coppi) paint a white brick wall. It’s no surprise that the former tenants of Bar Fausto were artists, who used it as a live/work space.
The juxtapositions continue onto the menu, where classic cocktails get modern twists, and an ambitious list of rotating cocktails get top billing. Here the drinks don’t have names but rather numbers, and the list will grow seasonally.
The first set featured 11 numbered cocktails. The #8 ($12) was a favorite – Blanco Sauza, St. George spiced pear liqueur, lime, cilantro-infused simple syrup and cucumber mixed up into a crisp, mildly sweet blend. Missed it on the menu? Don’t worry, all drinks will be cataloged so you can always get your favorite. Even when they’re up to drink #108, you’ll still be able to get the #8.
The next thing you need to know about Bar Fausto – in case you haven’t already guessed – is that the drinks are front and center. The bar is a stunning focal point, running almost the entire length of the very lengthy space. Spirits abound, and in addition to the rotating menu of signature cocktails, there are 30 classic drinks, 13 wines by the glass and between four and seven beers on tap.
If you’re around during happy hour (4-6 p.m.), three cocktails are offered for $6 (the Bourbon Collins is a good choice), along with $2 ‘Dad’ beers and $2 off wines by the glass. There are also a couple food options on special, including a $6 daily bruschetta.
Which brings us to the third thing you should know about Bar Fausto: there is no kitchen. There is, however, a great 1940s meat slicer and a convection oven, which is apparently all they need to make appetizing small plates like the aforementioned bruschetta, antipasti and an assortment of charcuterie.
The Grande Misto assortment of charcuterie ($25) was a board full of well-curated meats and cheeses; some of which are made in-house, but most of which are sourced from New York City’s Salumeria Biellese, a 100-year-old deli famous for its fresh sausages and salumi selection. Tidbits included speck, copa, creamy burrata and a sharp bleu, among others.
The food and drinks at Bar Fausto are all at the top of their game, while still having a distinct sense of fun. Just like the bar’s namesake himself.
3126 Larimer St.