Cork and Cask: Colorado Springs’ own gothic sanctuary

9 April 2019

Taylor Burnfield

[email protected]

    Dark burgundy-colored walls, ornate velvet furniture, marble table tops and shimmering crystal chandeliers. You may feel like you have just stepped into a vampire’s castle, but you are in fact at Cork and Cask, a Colorado Springs’ bar located at 60 E. Moreno Ave.

    With an extensive menu containing several whiskeys, numerous beer and wine selections, custom cocktails and not to mention the delicious appetizers, Cork and Cask has a little something for everybody.

    Do not let the elaborate interior decorating intimidate you, the staff is extremely helpful and friendly. The atmosphere is luxurious yet relaxing. The beauty of Cork and Cask extends outside as well, where outdoor seating and fire pits create the perfect place to socialize.

    When first entering the bar in the late afternoon, the vibe is chill and casual. Coworkers unwind after the workday, friends share appetizers and converse with each other.

    However, once the sun goes down, Cork and Cask truly comes alive. Glimmering chandeliers illuminate the room while tiny candles flicker on table tops creating a romantic mood.

    Happy hour at Cork and Cask begins at 3 p.m and extends until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Happy hour includes a dollar off wells, house wines, draft beers and 50 percent off small plates.

    Some examples of small plates include a charcuterie board, a large bavarian pretzel, a dessert board and a s’mores kit that should ideally be enjoyed outside near the fire pits.    

    I chose to dine inside and ordered the bavarian pretzel, which came with brie fondue and house mustard. The pretzel was warm, slightly salty and appreciated by everyone at the table.

    When it comes to the wine selection, Cork and Cask offers many options, including several varieties of white wines, red wines and blush wines. The wine menu is organized by flavor. For example, the wines are listed as either juicy and fruity, big and bold, silky and lush and so on. This makes choosing your perfect glass a breeze.  

    I chose to order the La Crema Pinot Noir, a wine that is considered by staff to be a lighter and sweeter option than some other Pinot Noir wines on the menu.

    The wine was tangy and refreshing with notes of cherry, plum and orange. This wine would pair nicely with a dessert.

    I also ordered what I thought to be a simple glass of champagne. However, the champagne was served in a coupe style glass instead of the traditional flute glass that most of us have come to associate with champagne.

    It was a pleasant surprise, as the coupe glass was the expected method of serving champagne during the 1920s and 1930s. The choice of stemware only added to the vintage atmosphere of the bar.

    After a while, I began to notice the surrealist paintings on the walls. The paintings are glimpses into the imagination of artist Phil Lear. Many of Springs’ locals may recognize Lear’s artwork from The Rabbit Hole, another haunting venue located underground at 101 N. Tejon St.

    The reason for the similarities between the two establishments is that they are both the brainchild of Joe Campana, a local entrepreneur who owns several eateries in the Colorado Springs area.

    It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what time period Cork and Cask resides; it seems to be equal parts Victorian castle and 1920s speakeasy. This bar will certainly inspire your inner romantic.