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I’ve known Chef Troy Guard a long time. I’ve watched, and written about, his carefully-conceived concepts that regularly improve the Colorado dining scene. I’ve been impressed by how he has managed to juggle the variety of restaurants, imparting his passions into each one. And I’ve seen him gracefully deal with restaurants that didn’t work out, learn from them, and move on, fearlessly. 2024 will continue to bring new concepts and openings of old favorites in new locations.  Done Deal is one of those new concepts for Guard’s TAG Restaurant Group and, judging by the preview we got, will likely be another hit. 

Scenes from Done Deal, a new cocktail lounge in Denver.
Save this article about Done Deal cocktail lounge to Pinterest to help remind you to visit. Photos courtesy Rowe Creative Union, TAG Restaurant Bar and In Good Taste Denver.

Opening January 16, 2024, Done Deal is a cocktail bar in the atrium of Republic Plaza in downtown Denver at 370 17th St. The space itself is dramatic. But the addition of Done Deal, to what served solely as a lobby for the skyscraper, makes it a draw to employees and their visitors, and now, to guests of the lounge.

Rendering of Done Deal cocktail lounge by Rowe Creative Union.
A rendering of Done Deal by Rowe Creative Union.

The huge bar, which had to be built off-site and brought in, is curved, mimicked by lighting (not lightning!) rods above. Seating in jewel tones and neutrals covers a large area along one side of the spacious lobby. It’s open, airy, yet inviting. Naturally, Done Deal will cater primarily to those working in Republic Plaza, for meetings and after-work gatherings. But it’s also meant to be a draw for the rest of us. Located near the end of the 16th Street Mall (currently undergoing major refurbishment), it’s also a convenient spot for pre- or post-dinner, movie, or theater drinks and nibbles. Bigger picture though, it’s all part of Guard’s mission to provide reasons to go back to downtown Denver again for work and play.

View of seating area at Done Deal.
The extended seating area for Done Deal feels separate but still part of the grandeur of being in the Atrium of Republic Plaza. Photo by In Good Taste Denver.

Currently in downtown Denver, TAG Restaurant Group has two locations of the bubu concept (including one downstairs in Republic Plaza’s Concourse), two Los Chingones locations (plus in Central Park, DTC and Ft. Collins), a Hashtag coming soon (joining Highlands Ranch and Central Park), and Guard & Grace, a staple for the business and date night crowd (and in Houston). You can learn more about each, including descriptions and addresses at the Group’s website.

 

Done Deal cocktail bar is open Monday-Friday, from 3-7pm. It’s also available for private events. The focus is on cocktails, all of which can be made non-alcoholic. I was happy to see that mentioned at the top of the cocktail menu, further proof that Guard has his finger on the pulse of what patrons want, what with increasing interest in sipping special drinks without the negative boozy effects. Wine and beer are also served.

Cocktail and glass of wine in front of apolothocaries.
The Pick Me Up cocktail left, and a glass of red from the Language of Yes Cuvee Cinso CA. Photo by In Good Taste Denver.

On the “DD cocktails” list (for Done Deal, not Designated Driver unless you’re doing those mocktails), the names are fun like the “Dividends,” “Midnight Oil,” and “Embargo,” each nods to Done Deal’s location in the heart of the business district. At the preview we attended, we tried the G&G Barrel Aged Old Fashioned (Bols Genever, Amaro Nonino and Sichuan pepper), Queen City (Old Forester 100 Proof Rye, Disaronno Originale, Averna Amaro and Carpano Antica), and Pick Me Up (Flor de Cana 7yr, Yerba Mate Syrup, Grapefruit and Pineapple Tepache). Each was creative and top notch. There are also Classic cocktails listed on the menu including a Tom Collins, Martini, Mojito, and Whiskey Sour. There’s even a Plaza Punch Bowl that serves 4-6. I feel an after-work FAC coming on!

Done Deal cocktails about to go to guests.
A sampling of Done Deal cocktails about to make the rounds at a preview gathering. Photo by In Good Taste Denver.

Currently, the menu lists options including Shrimp Cocktail, Meat/Cheese Plate, Marinated Olives, Tag Tuna Tacos (tried and loved), the TG Hot Dog, and Smoked Salmon Rillette and Duck Leg Rillette served on Ruffles potato chips (tried both and loved both).

Board of sushi
We enjoyed nibbles of Sushi at the preview party for Done Deal. Private Parties will feature options for sushi and other food plus drinks. Photo by In Good Taste Denver.

Says Guard, “Done Deal is unlike any other concept by TAG Restaurant Group. Denver is a city that is constantly looking for something new and exciting, and we are thrilled to see what’s in store for this new downtown venue.”

I couldn’t agree more about the residents and visitors to Denver always looking for something new and exciting (your loyalty to the In Good Taste Denver blog shows that!). And with Guard’s track record for knowing what certain parts of town need at just the right time, Done Deal is likely to be another hit.

Learn more about Done Deal on their website.

-Story by Courtney Drake-McDonough, Publisher and Managing Editor, In Good Taste Denver