So when we heard about Koko Cocktails being turned over to three Tunnel Top veterans, we ventured to Polk Gulch to suss out the rumors...and we happily report that the slummy dive bar of the past has been ratcheted up a few notches (that's hipster dive bar to you now).
All you'll notice from the sidewalk is the leftover neon sign, but have faith, it's another world inside. Gone are the beer signs and ratty pool table; instead you'll find the right blend of low-key and hip—think plastic bucket seats punctuated by church pew banquettes and an art installation of the Virgin of Guadeloupe (patron saint of all dive bar renovations).
The roomy space offers plenty of mingle room (key on the weekend)—during the week opt for a stool at the bar. Whenever you go, you'll feel right at home (if you lived in a bar). In fact, one of the owners, Lori, will share her family's (very potent) take on a daiquiri—the Lawnmower—even though the Effin Black Cherry Cosmo and Rittenhouse Sazerac are house favorites.
As a nod to history (it started as a German bar in the '50s), they kept the regular's table (or "Stammtisch") sign above one two-top.
With some diligent Sazerac intake, it could be yours.