January 16 2007, 1:51 PM
I'll drive a long way for a good martini. In this case, all the way to Boulder. Last night, I hopped the turnpike up to Boulder to check out Purple Martini Boulder, the newest locale in Will Coleman's growing string of chic martini lounges. Granted, I skipped the martini this time, but once I hit my post-baby stride again I'll be sure to sample the wares in this sleek new joint in Boulder's expanding 29th Street Mall. It's located on the second level of the open-air mall, above Laudisio, a fab Italian restaurant that I also checked out (the risotto special with rotisserie suckling pig and shitake mushrooms in marsala risotto was divine). But back to Purple. The original location off 15th St. was one of the first of many sleek downtown martini lounges. Coleman closed the downtown location in 2004, during the same month he opened the Purple Martini DTC. Last year he opened the Purple Martini at the Tabor Center, bringing Purple back to downtown, but now he's looking to circle the city with smart satellite locations in the 'burbs. Next up is Broomfield, and he says he has at least two other deals in the works as well. So far, so good; at each location Purple caters to an older, professional crowd (by "older," I mean late twenties and up, as opposed to the 21-year-old crowds at many Lodo bars) who are attracted to the 4 - 8 p.m. half price happy hour deals, free parking at the DTC and Boulder locations, and the stylish atmospheres. The new Boulder location should rock once summertime arrives, too -- three sliding glass garage doors and a patio that seats over a hundred should bring plenty of thirsty Boulderites out to enjoy the views of the Flatirons. For now, the Boulder spot will celebrate its grand opening this weekend; drop in Thursday - Saturday for special guests (calendar girls, DJs) and drink specials to get the party started.