RiNo Yacht Club's Mary Allison Wright —photo by Jennifer Olson
Although Acorn and Comida bring in vast amounts of business to the Source, the cavernous foundry building–turned food hall needs an anchor. Come the end of August, it's getting one: RiNo Yacht Club is taking over the the central space that once housed CapRock Farm Bar. Owner Mary Allison Wright, who opened the Proper Pour with life partner Mclain Hedges, is determined to transform the bar experience. For one thing, where CapRock only offered cocktails made with its own spirits, Yacht Club will offer a broad beverage program inspired by the world's drinking cultures. "We'll have vermouth on tap, canned beer, the perfect gin and tonic," says Wright. "We want to foster a casual drinking environment."
The menu has been divided into two sections, says spirits adviser Hedges. The main part of the list, which is broken up into Eastern and Western hemispheres, will focus on rotating flavor components and spirits originating in each region. Look for cocktails such as the Wind Demon (Bombay Sapphire East, soju, orgeat, yuzu, sake, and rose water) or the Ol' Dixie Bull (Four Roses bourbon, Atxa blanca, R&W apricot, Suze, and lemon oil). The second section will be more casual, classic, and stable like the gin and tonic and the Pimm's cup.
Acorn will run Yacht Club’s food program. In keeping with the bar's casual vibe, a small-plate, State Bird Provisions-inspired menu will be drink-friendly, affordable ($4 to $8 per plate), and flexible. “You can dictate how the evening goes,” Hedges says. “Do you want a bunch of bites, do you want dinner, or do you just want a snack?”
The space has been reworked as well: low couches and tables are more loungelike and the light fixtures (which will be as much about form as it will be function) will hang low to bring the ceiling down and make the room feel warmer and more intimate. The intention is that Yacht Club will become a gathering spot for the neighborhood and for visitors alike.
The name RiNo Yacht Club is a tongue-and-cheek nod to the nearby Platte River. But more than that, says Wright, it's also about "camaraderie, the idea of lounging, of hanging out, of being part of a community." That sense of belonging is what drew Wright and Hedges (who used to be music promoters in Tennessee) to Denver in the first place. The more they traveled here, the more they liked it. In fact, says Wright, "We were inspired by the old Squeaky Bean [on 33rd and Tejon]. We thought that if this is where Denver is going, we want to be a part of it."
3350 Brighton Blvd., 720-443-1135
—Photo by Jennifer Olson