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Carnitas tacos. Photo by Chloe Barrett.

Syntax Physic Opera is Now the Broadway Roxy

The one-month-old restaurant and music venue has a stellar food and entertainment lineup.

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You might expect food to be an afterthought at a bar showcasing live musical acts every day of the week. But the Broadway Roxy, which opened in the Syntax Physic Opera space on South Broadway in August, delivers fare you likely won’t find at other concert venues.

The menu, inspired by Mexican, Italian, and Middle Eastern cuisines, is anchored by dishes imported from Roxy’s first location in Encinitas, California, including its famous, award-winning falafel burger and new additions from chef Christopher Rasmussen (formerly of Highland Tap & Burger). Take his Grandma’s Meatballs, which are made with beef, pork, and veal, topped with melted mozzarella, and slathered in her secret-recipe red sauce. Or the carnitas tacos, in which street-style corn tortillas wrap around succulent slow-cooked pork, limey avocado salsa, pico de gallo, and cojita cheese.

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Grandma’s Meatballs. Photo by Chloe Barrett

Modern menu aside, Broadway Roxy’s design and cocktail list both channel the 1920s. Owner Paula Vrakas curated the decor with brass, tile, and Art Deco features, and included retro drink options on the menu such as the gin rickey. How does the Cuban mojito on the menu fit in? Vrakas was inspired to include it after sipping on a mojito at a bar in Havana, Cuba, while on vacation after signing a purchase agreement for the Syntax Physic Opera building. “It’s such a delicious, refreshing drink—it really stood out to me,” Vrakas says. “I remember the bartenders were slapping mint, and asked me what else I needed. I responded with ‘Advil and your mojito recipe.’”

As for the musical lineup, expect an eclectic mix of Americana, folk, blues, and jazz. Former Syntax favorites will continue to take the stage, including Anthony Ruptak, who will host recurring singer-songwriter showcases.

While you’re checking out the scene at the new Roxy, take a chance on dessert. Though unconventional, its chilled, chocolate-covered avocado half—aromatic with orange zest and topped with vanilla ice cream—is, like the rest of the food, unexpectedly brilliant.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 5 p.m.–12 a.m.; Friday, 5 p.m.–2 a.m. (closed on Monday); 554 S. Broadway

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