It isn’t quite clear what vibe Cork and Cask is going for. Are they trying to be swanky? Gothic? Appeal to bachelorette parties? That identity crisis was my first impression. We were seated at a small table flanked by two huge purple velvet high back chairs. And when I say “high” I mean 6 feet at least. The bottles on the bar are illuminated by ever-changing-colored LED lights. And the decor was mostly steampunk.
It seems like there has been an explosion in Colorado Springs of bars that want to be classy, establishment-making venues. It seemed to us that they all took the same blueprint and tried to make their creative mark. In the case of Cork and Cask, it felt a bit superficial, like the high class vibe they want ended with the list of 200 whiskeys on their menu.
The food menu focused on small plates and had the same split-personality feeling with a huge pretzel (hockey game), deviled eggs (grandma’s house) and stuffed olives (on point). We also found the cheese board to be uninspiring–we could have put together something better with a $20 budget at Safeway. So, to sum up. If you want to sip on a delicious and hard-to-find whiskey, go to Cork and Cask. If you want the atmosphere you’d expect from a whiskey bar and elevated cocktail lounge, look elsewhere.