On the corner of Colfax and Forest sits a unique shop that caters to those who seek a community of like-minded creatives and to those who seek a drink. Bellwether, East Denver neighborhood bar, coffee house and barbershop, goes above and beyond in providing a relaxed, welcoming space.

In a world teeming with replicants of the same trendy coffee shop crammed with metal tabletops and baristas in leather aprons, Bellwether’s style is very much of it’s own, with an aesthetic nod to old-school motorcycle culture. The color scheme is black and white, with hand painted murals in the minimalist style, throughout the store. These are often accompanied by mottos like the one at the front of the store showing a cow, “Whiskey,” flanked by two dancing wolves, “Coffee” and “Beer.” Written beneath is: “here we are all winners.”    

Choosing from the best, often local sources, Bellwether’s signature coffee blend is an aromatic brew that sticks to your lungs— the coffee of cowboys. You can order a diner cup or a pour over, as well as the classic array of espresso drinks. Each is served in locally crafted ceramic mugs and glassware. Iced drinks are served in strange, warped cups that look like they were placed in the furnace a few too many hours.

If you’d like to watch grown men and women run to the counter like little kids at a candy store, make sure you’re in the shop right as the clock strikes 5:00 pm when the barista kicks off the night by offering free shots of Bulleit whiskey. Along with their nitro Bulleit, Bellwether has a diverse menu of artisan cocktails and draft beers.

With the old fashioned barber shop tucked away in the back and a cellar-like room downstairs used for events like art exhibits and film screenings, Bellwether embraces the phrase “there’s more than meets the eye.” They even showcase the Denver based brand Ruckus, a clothing line of innovative, high-quality streetwear.

Printed on the back of their menus is the motto: “coffee, clothes or booze/ at Bellwether you don’t have to choose.” From great coffee to free shots and regulars who look like they stepped right off of the cover of a Rolling Stones album, Bellwether is undeniably one of the coolest spots in Denver.