IMAGE VIA BONNI PACHECO PHOTOGRAPHY
The term “wellness” has become pretty broad these days. From buzzy supplements to CBD-infused everything, it seems like everybody is trying to sell the word in one way or another. So, when a place comes along that embodies an authentic approach to wellness, we get pretty excited. And then, of course, we share it with you.
Well, here it is, Denver: the real deal. It’s called Honey Elixir Bar, and it’s headed to RiNo next month.
Jocasta Hanson was working as a bartender and studying to become a therapist when her best friend, Boulder chef Matt Lackey, died in a climbing accident on Mt. Princeton. The tragic loss caused her to experience a journey of grieving and healing that serves as part of the inspiration for Honey. Her friend’s passing was “a powerful experience of how community heals together,” Jocasta shared with Fitt. That realization inspired Jocasta to put her grad school studies on hold. “I wanted to create a place that would hold the space for those looking for a healing connection — a place to gather, or a space to celebrate,” she says. Combining this desire with her passions for psychology, nutrition, health, art, and design, Honey was born.
Honey will serve a creative and carefully crafted collection of drinks that nourish. Expect a lineup of flavorful and functional sips, from kombucha and smoothies to chai and kefir. When it comes to ingredients at Honey, you’ll see it’s all about intention. Whether you’re craving a warm cup of calming cacao or a craft cocktail infused with antioxidant-rich ingredients like turmeric and goji, this café has something to satisfy.
Honey will offer healthy snacks, too. Expect small plates that pack a powerful punch, like sliced apple with house-made raw nut butter, a local honey sampler with gluten-free bread, and a seasonal soup and salad. They’ll rotate in some vegan sweets from local bakeries too.
But it goes beyond a healthy menu for Jocasta. She doesn’t want Honey to be just another juice bar or kombucha spot — she’s aiming to create a space that embraces all aspects of health, from how you nourish your body to how you nurture your brain. So, in the spirit of cultivating community and connection, and in addition to serving up those healthful sips, Honey will offer workshops and host group meetings for those sharing common experiences, like a workshop focused on how the Jun (a fermented tea similar to kombucha but made with honey rather than sugar) she serves can benefit gut health or a group meeting for those experiencing grief from the loss of a loved one.
Thought was put into every aspect of Honey, from the way tables are arranged to facilitate conversation to the design of acoustics supporting the way the sound of voices and music fill the space. The good vibes emanate from the core, with words of intention lining the ground beneath the flooring. Jocasta hopes to highlight the talents of the community, too, with rotating art exhibitions and a retail space stocked with goods from local makers.
Collectively, Honey Elixir Bar is a new concept to Denver. A healthy cafe redefining wellness, and a gathering space redefining community. And with a place that packs purpose and intention in every square inch, we had to ask — why the name Honey? Jocasta shared several reasons for choosing it, but her favorite one? “Honey is alchemized sunshine,” she says. “Bees turn the power of the sun into liquid gold.” Expect the doors to open by the end of October.