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Bear with me for this piece because I have to be a little vague. Hidden under the streets in downtown Greeley is a throwback to Prohibition and Greeley’s spell as a dry city which lasted until 1969. 1908 is modeled after the speakeasies which were rumored to still be in Greeley until as late as 1970 when an elaborate system of tunnels running under the city was finally sealed off.

So how do you find it? Well, that’s half the fun of going there. The speakeasy relies on word of mouth to bring in customers, so even though there’s no secret handshake and you don’t have to knock on the door just right, you need to find somebody in the know to be able to find the entrance to this bar. Even knowing where it was, I felt almost like I was going somewhere I shouldn’t be the first time I went there. And even then, the entrance is fairly unassuming and easy to pass by if you’re not paying attention. Once I was over the feeling that I was somehow trespassing, there was a brief moment when I thought maybe I was set up and sent on a wild goose chase.

As soon as you walk in the door, however, you know you’re in the right spot. Everything is dimly lit with soft music playing in the background as the bartender, with his slicked back hair, suspenders, and bow tie eyes you up and down and you take your seat. True to the theme, everything on the menu here is a classic cocktail: Old Fashioneds, Martinis, Sidecars, and the like. For the more adventurous, the bartenders here are master drink mixers. I chose to stray from the menu and order a “Something With Whiskey” which came out a few minutes later in one of the biggest glasses I have ever seen in my entire life. I took a few sips of each of my friend’s drinks, each of whom had an order almost as vague as mine (yes, we were those customers, I’m sorry), and not one of them was anything short of amazing.

Let me break from the story here to quickly mention one thing: the drinks here go down smooth, but don’t let that fool you, they’re strong. I mean really strong. My second drink, a little something I like to call “Something With Rum” quickly made me realize how little I’d eaten recently and put me in a very happy place for the next two hours or so.

I cannot recommend this place enough. I’m not the type who goes out to party or bar hop when I drink, I’m the boring type who likes to sit, talk, and relax, so it was pretty disappointing to me when my favorite bar in town decided to start upping the volume and focusing on more of the party crowd. I still try to stop by every so often, but it’s just not the same as it was when I first discovered it and it’s a struggle to stay long enough to finish just one drink. 1908 has taken its place for me. Sure, it’s sort of reaching to the other extreme where it can almost be a little too quiet, but it’s the best place to relax after a long shift or to just meet up with friends.

There are plenty of ways to find out where 1908 is hidden, but the owner has gone to such great lengths to give the bar an authentic feel that if you want to check it out, you should at least try finding it without just looking up the answer. It really adds to the experience and, if I’m being honest, it’s not that hard to discover anymore anyway. Poke around downtown long enough and you’re sure to find a way in.