Li’l Devils is a laid-back and welcoming Denver gay bar/lounge located on South Broadway. A cozy venue with a large hidden patio, Li’l Devils is THE hangout spot for the neighborhood. It is known as the ‘neighborhood bar that happens to be a gay bar’. Often featuring live music and always serving well-executed seasonal cocktails, this laid-back establishment feels more like a lounge than a bar. Friendly staff and a host of regulars give the bar a sense of continuity that I appreciate. Li’l Devil’s is the perfect place to meet and catch up with friends or meet new people.
I got to speak to Li’l Devils’ owner, Tony, about their upcoming 10th anniversary. They will be hosting a party with live music, snacks, and half off all drinks from 7 pm to 10 pm.
GayDenver: Would you mind describing Li’l Devils?
Li’l Devils: We are a gay neighborhood establishment. We prefer to call ourselves a lounge. We have a large patio area with ample seating, a fire pit, and a bar (in the summer months). We are LGBT+ but we welcome everyone and get all kinds of people in our South Broadway location.
GayDenver: Tell us about yourself. (do you run the business alone, are you LGBT, what did you do before Devils)
Li’l Devils: I’m a horticulturist by trade, I ran my own florist/landscaping business for years. I started to bartend and manage bars and did that for about a decade before opening Li’l Devils. I got my start in the LGBTQ+ business at Club Proteus and the Denver Wrangler, at their original location.
GayDenver: The South Broadway scene has evolved a lot, what have you seen? What are your views?
Li’l Devils: South Broadway has become a very influential neighborhood; it has changed so much. I call it the south Lodo, it’s like an adult version of Lodo. It’s become much more populated thanks to new buildings. I worked at this location for 7 years before Li’l Devils opened. The whole South Broadway corridor has been developed and tons of great businesses have joined the area. It’s something else.
GayDenver: Tell us about your anniversary party this Saturday.
Li’l Devils: Our anniversary is technically on December 28th but we always celebrate it on the third weekend of the new year. We will have live music, hor devours, and of course half-off drinks. It’s a really fun night where we get to show the community how much we love and appreciate them.
The band will be ‘Future Room’. Zach and his band have been with us since day one, they performed on our opening day!
GayDenver: You have an amazing rotating seasonal drink menu. Can you tell us about that?
Li’l Devils: Early in the season the whole staff gets together and workshops drinks. We develop many of our drinks for Bar Wars, which we participate in yearly. We end up carrying those drinks through the season, as we put so much work and thought into them.
We offer frozen cocktails year-round. These are made to order and are our best sellers. We tweak those recipes as well to make them faster and better for the customer.
GayDenver: Everywhere I looked, I saw that you make it a point to be a neighborhood bar where all are welcome. How do you achieve that?
Li’l Devils: Definitely, we keep a relaxed atmosphere that can appeal to everyone. I know that I appreciate having a place I can go to talk to friends and relax. The music isn’t so loud that you can’t hear anything and there is a lot of comfortable seating. We throw so many events geared toward letting people have fun, catch up with old friends or meet new people.
GayDenver: What surprised you most about owning your bar?
Li’l Devils: On the business side, not really. I had a lot of experience and knew what I was getting into—what I needed to do. On the customer side, it’s been a learning experience. We strive to make everyone feel comfortable and respected here, so we had to learn about pronouns and the correct ways to address and refer to people.
GayDenver: If you could put anything on a billboard what would it be?
Li’l Devils: I don’t want to sound selfish but it would be, “I’ve earned this.”
GayDenver: Anyone that owns a business will get where you are coming from!
GayDenver: Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?
Li’l Devils: I appreciate everyone in the community! I couldn’t have done this without my friends, the South Broadway community, and of course the LGBT community.
GayDenver: You are well known for your holiday parties…got any big plans for this year?
Li’l Devils: Thank you, we go all out for any of the holidays, St. Patrick’s Day, and Mardi Gras is coming up and that’s always a busy and fun time. We have a small space, but we go all out on decorations and have a specialty drink menu for each event. We also participate in the South Broadway Halloween Parade. It’s always the weekend before Halloween and it runs from 5th ave and ends in front of Devils. If you haven’t been to our Memorial Day party, that is a great event to come to. We kick off the official opening of the patio with a cajun shrimp boil. I can’t say yet if we’ll be doing anything new this year but I reserve the right to surprise everyone!