Monday, November 15, 2010

Some Brand New Joints

This has been a busy, busy week for COBG members looking to make a name for themselves out there in this big ol world. Two very prominent establishments catering to the next level of the Denver cocktail scene opened over the past 7 days, and let me be the first to say that both are doing the state of Colorado proud.


The Main Bar of Green Russell (and yes, Kevin Burke has laser eyes)
Last Friday evening saw the grand opening of The Green Russell, Denver's first "Speakeasy-esque" establishment located in the depths of Larimer Square. Named after William Greenberry Russell — the history books credit Mr. Russell as part of a gold mining expedition that first tried mining at the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platte before heading further into the mountains where they found the first significant gold discovery in the Rocky Mountains in 1858 — the Green Russell bar is being tended by several of our COBG brethren and looks to be the new late night industry hotspot.

All those flavors, so little time.
They're carving ice by hand. They've got three bars. They've got a freaking grow room where they're growing fresh herbs. The pizzas are excellent and, as any Bonnano owned restaurant would, they have so much fried pig on the menu it might make you sad for swine everywhere. Plus, as you can see by their ever changing array of kick-ass cocktails, you just might be able to get yourself into some trouble exploring the drink menu.

However, whenever you make your first visit, be warned:

A) They are not screwing around with house rules (I did see one local gadabout get herself 86'ed). No cell phones. No standing at the bar. And most fart jokes. Ever.
B) When walking through the Larimer Square Pie Entrance, be wary. Once you push past the first door, head down the hall and enter the pie shop, there is an immediate step down. It is not marked. You will break your ankle.
C) Pork Belly "Pigs" In A Blanket will be your new weakness...

OAK @ Fourteenth
Boulder's Newest Digs — 1400 Pearl Street
Last night I made my way back to my old stomping grounds of Boulder to pay a visit to our illustrious COBG President's new baby — and by baby, I mean a sparkling new restaurant on the corner of 14th and Pearl Street — and was, for lack of a better simile, proud as a papa for his entire team. Drawing upon a cast of very familiar characters in the Boulder dining scene, OAK at Fourteenth was everything one would expect from both Bryan Dayton and the city of Boulder. The interior is sleek and polished,
the waiters and waitresses were young, intelligent and attractive, the drink menu is Dayton's finest work to date, and the clientele,'ve all been to Boulder.

Rock Your Face Off, Tuna.
Everything from the food menu, the cocktail presentation, staff knowledge and the over all professionalism of the management team was more than impressive for a soft opening. We've all been there: the doors are about to open, there isn't enough time to get the paintings on the wall, much less tend to the 1,200 other last minute details that come up when opening a new venture. "Did we remember toilet paper?" "Where the hell is the dishwasher?" "Why isn't that light switch working? It was working yesterday when I left!" "You locked the keys in what? How is that even possible?" But the kids at OAK never missed a beat, kissing babies and tending to tables like the polished professionals that they are.

Cheers to Dayton and Company. You have one hell of a success on your hands.

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