If you don’t yet know Milly, you’re going to want to.
Room for Milly is based on the real-life Milly Parker, who lived from the tail end of the nineteenth century to the twilight of the twentieth. She was vivacious and bold, always up for good food and drink and even better conversation. She was adventurous and worldly, having traveled to more continents than most women at the time could dream of. She loved a good party, with people from different walks of life, and she was just as likely to chase travel and education as any man.
It was that boundary-pushing Milly who inspired Room for Milly, the stunning cocktail bar on Platte Street that’s short on pretension and long on design.
“As I thought about the space, I thought about strong women through history,” says owner Fiona Arnold. “We’re a woman-owned company, and one of the things we think about is ensuring our spaces are designed to be inclusive for women. I think the more women, the more people of color, the more diverse groups engaged in business development and ownership, the more inclusive spaces we’ll see.”
Milly Parker would be right at home at the whimsical bar, which is a kaleidoscope of colors, patterns and textures. The Lindsay Cowles-designed wallpaper will first capture your attention, but pick your jaw up off the floor because there’s something interesting to see in every corner. From the terrazzo flooring to the tiled bar to the thrifted and commissioned art (most of which was created by women), it’s a medley of creativity that comes together to create a truly memorable and special bar.
“It’s a space that doesn’t take itself too seriously,” Arnold says. “I heard someone say that it is like being in your eccentric aunt’s place in New York City.”
To match Milly’s sophisticated tastes, the cocktails had to be worthy of their globetrotting muse. Food and beverage director Emily McKenna and bar manager Kyle Fanfoni oversee a menu of salon cocktails that will take you anywhere you want to go, from Paris to the tropics. Sip on the floral SS City of Paris Spritz, a delicate blend of vodka, grapefruit, rosewater and sparkling rosé, or go heavier with the Pen Women Daisy, a mix of cacao butter-washed vodka, oat milk, house-made vanilla crème soda and egg. Or go full-on vacation mode with the sultry Mururi Tiki, which mixes ginger, banana and lime juice with crème de cacao and cachaça.
The Bites menu is small plates—think popcorn, deviled eggs and chilled prawns, with more items debuting soon in a relaunched menu. Even if you don't stop in hungry, you may linger so long over that pre-dinner drink, nightcap to end the evening or cocktails with friends at happy hour that you talk up an appetite.
Room for Milly is a destination for its design and drinks, yes, but it’s really intended to be more of a backdrop for your own life and adventures. A place to dream, go deep, make plans and connect with new and old friends. Just the kind of haunt for an intriguing woman like Milly.
1615 Platte St., Denver; 720.630.7020; RoomForMilly.com