Two months after Dram Apothecary closed its Silver Plume bar and tasting room, the historic space at 1010 Main Street has been reimagined and reopened under new ownership.
Bread Bar, the most recent (and inevitable) name for the town’s century-old bake shop, is now open for business on weekends and available for events. Friends and new co-owners Stephen Fenberg, Rob DuRay, Casey Berry, and Sam Alviani purchased the former Sopp & Truscott building for $195,000 in May.
“It’s the best bad idea and the worst good idea,” DuRay said at Saturday’s grand re-opening. “It’s sort of an escape for all four of us,” Fenberg added.
Built in the 1890s, the bar originally housed a grain and feed shop but spent most of the last century serving as a bakery, with the word “Bread” printed in large lettering on the side of the storefront. For the past four years, Dram Apothecary owners Shae Whitney and Brady Becker used the space to operate their bitters tasting room, which gained a devout following (and the now eponymous nickname) for bringing quality cocktails and live music to the 170-person former mining town.
For the past few weeks, the new owners have been coming up to the mountains after-hours and in-between their day jobs—which range from managing a brewing business and a nonprofit to running a political campaign to operating an events company, Two Parts—to work on the bar. “We want to do this in a way that isn’t about us but is about the space,” Fenberg says, adding that it was important for the four of them to preserve the “magic” that came from the combination of the valley setting and the previous owners’ apothecary business. While they’ve left much the same, they’ve built out the bar’s back deck, opened up its small corner kitchen, and revamped the tiny bathroom with its basin sink and powdered soap dispenser. “We really don’t want to be these outsiders that come in from Denver and try to transform the place,” he says.
Bread Bar now combines past and present in its decor, with original grain bins, a hanging scale, and an ice box, as well as a small, Colorado-centric book library. A history buff and current District 18 Colorado Senate candidate, Fenberg has spent his summer on the fifth floor of the Denver Public Library, researching Silver Plume’s storied past. As such, he’s incorporated well-known local names such as Clifford Griffin (a former mine manager) to the bar’s new five-cocktail menu, created by the owners of the Way Back. The new drink menu features “very slight riffs on classic cocktails,” according to the Way Back’s co-owner Chad Michael George, who along with his business partner Kade Gianinetti, will be taking turns coming up on weekends to man the bar.
The Clifford Griffin cocktail is made with rye, amaro, lemon, and a red wine float; Baby Doe Tabor consists of vodka, sage jam, citrus, and soda; and G.A. Jackson is a blend of gin, honey, lavender, and lemon. Each mixed drink costs $10, while beers from Denver Beer Company, Station 26 Brewing Company, Great Divide Brewing Company, Avery Brewing Company, Trve Brewing Company, and Coors Brewing Company are available for four to eight dollars a pop. Permanent draft lines and visiting breweries with special tappings are forthcoming.
“We’re treating this as a change of pace,” says Gianinetti, who also created the food menu for the opening—a simple and soulful spread of barbecue pulled pork, baked beans, watermelon with mint and feta, and a grainy mustard potato salad. Gianinetti said he is opening up the weekly bartending position to his entire Denver bar staff, giving them the chance to head to the mountains and work Friday and Saturday night shifts in Silver Plume (and maybe get out for some outdoor excursions while they’re at it). He said they could make a weekend of it, camping in tents or, come winter, sleeping on the bar’s floor atop blow-up mattresses.
The Bread Bar team is currently working on a permanent food menu, and in the meantime hosting chef pop-ups throughout the month of August. Once Bread Bar starts its food program, it will be the first restaurant in Silver Plume since the Tea Room, which closed last summer, and before that the Plume Saloon, which served big spaghetti dinners and beer pitchers to skiers returning to Denver.
It remains to be seen whether or not the “magic” of Silver Plume’s most iconic building will continue with this new concept. Judging from Saturday’s opening, it will remain an idyllic mountain stopover for cocktails and conversation. Some nights will include fire pits, and the bar will continue to host live music occasionally.
And on the best of evenings, locals and passersby will likely notice tents scattered stream-side, camper vans and packed truck beds lining Main Street, and, inside the Bread Bar, a handful of wooden tables pushed aside to make room for the town’s newest bar staff.
Bread Bar is now open at 1010 Main Street, in Silver Plume, from 4 to 10 p.m. Fridays and 2 to 10 p.m. Saturdays.
The space is also available for events and can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
—All photos by Josie Sexton
Full disclosure: Josie Sexton is the manager of the Fort Collins Passport, which is run by Two Parts.