Cherry Blossom Season Arrives at Death & Co. in RiNo

BY Linnea Covington

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After a successful run last year, the team at Death & Co decided to launch the Sakura Blossom Bar pop-up again. Located in Suite 6A, the team has transformed the mezzanine in The Ramble Hotel into a wonderland of pink flowers and byobu covering the windows. Food and cocktails enhance the experience further during this make-believe trip to Japan. 

Cherry Blossom Theme

The idea of having the decor center around cherry blossoms comes from hanami. This Japanese custom is all about enjoying the transient beauty of flowers, namely the spring buds of fruit trees. Unfortunately real cherry blossoms won’t be making a debut, in Denver the season runs in June, the entire private event space on the second floor has been decked out with around 400 beautiful fake flowers. It’s also time to enjoy the transient nature of craft cocktails, because like the blossoms, the time to enjoy them is short.

Enjoy the feeling of being under a canopy of cherry blossoms at Death & Co. | Photo by Kelly Calvillo

Drinks

Featuring spirits from House of Suntory, the Japanese whiskey list shines with pours of Hibiki 21 year ($152), Hakushu 12 year ($40), and Suntory Toki ($19). The staff can also make these tipples into a high-class Old Fashioned. 

We also found bourbon in the Ali Baba ($25), a complex drink consisting of sesame shochu, tahini, sweet vermouth, sherry, and amaro, with a dash of tamari. On the gin side, the Yamagawa cocktail ($21) showcased Roku gin with pandan, beni-shoga brine, coconut, lemon, arrack, and an egg white to make it a refreshing flip, paired with a side of harsh, yet addictive, pickled ginger. Also check out the Tencha Song ($23). It’s a Japanese take on the Espresso Martini, but uses matcha in lieu of coffee, as well as yuzu and coconut. Get to know these drinks now, each one has such a personality, and will only be available for a short time. 

blue windows with curtain and pillow
Suite 6A has been transformed into a sweet Japanese moment, but it won’t be here long. | Photo by Linnea Covington

Vibe

As you sip, enjoy the sounds of Japanese jazz. Aside from celebrating cherry blossom season, the pop-up is reminiscent of the kissa, or  kissaten, a type of Japanese hifi venue prevalent in the 1920s. These venues began as a way to listen to records, which at the time cost a lot of money. Customers would come and hear the music while sipping tea and eventually, coffee and spirits.

Eventually the kissa became what we know as a listening bar. To keep with the theme, Sakura Blossom Bar boasts a collection of vintage Japanese records that play throughout the evening at a volume perfect for intimate conversations with the person across from you.

Food

Death & Co. also serves food to go with the jazz and drinks. Expect small bites meant as a precursor to dinner, or added together, a rich meal with a lot of flavor. The potato croquette ($18) offers a nice cheese pull as you cut into the tender ball and fork out a bite. The cacio e pepe ($23) also delivers, though it uses gnocchi and comes with trout roe in order to give the classic Italian dish a seaside twist. Other items such as spiced chicken wings ($19), wagyu beef tartare sando ($24), and the salmon crudo ($21), should be shared.

Visit Sakura Blossom Bar in Suite 6A inside The Ramble Hotel, 1280 25th St., Denver.Make a reservation first, seating is limited. The seasonal pop-up only goes on until April 28, and runs Thursday through Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Linnea Covington

Linnea Covington is the managing editor of DiningOut. She comes to us with a long background in food, restaurant and drinks journalism. Over the last two decades she’s written for tons of publications including Denver Post, Washington Post, Forbes Travel Guide, 5280 Magazine, New York Magazine, New York Times, Time Out New York and more.

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