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Aside from Sakura Square, Lawrence Street has long been an underutilized stretch of downtown. That’s about to change because before long this area bordering the Ballpark neighborhood will bustle with Jagged Mountain Brewery, Mile High Spirits, Justin Cucci’s live music venue, the just-launched Curtis Club, and the soon-to-open Lower 48 and Service Bar.
The latter two concepts, from Frasca Food and Wine-alums Mario Nocifera and Alex Figura (Figura also cooked at Dan Barber‘s renowned Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Michelin three-star El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain) will push the local dining and bar scenes in new directions.
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Service Bar, in particular, strays from the norm: There will be neither a physical bar nor a bartender. “The concept was derived from the idea that people would be able to help themselves,” Nocifera says. “[After being] greeted, you would go grab your beer or wine, I’d open it for you, and a tickertape with your order would be on your table.” Alas, the original idea offered too many liabilities and now, though the look and feel (outlined in the rendering above) will be the same, there will be a cocktail server to take and deliver orders.
As Nocifera explains it, the space will have a living room feel with TVs and communal couches, not to mention a garage door. “This is a place to come and hang out,” he says.
But don’t mistake Service Bar for a sports bar, or even a typical bar. The beverage program will be highly curated with rotating taps for wine and beer and 45 bottled beer selections. “We’re interested in the best beers whether they’re local or not,” Nocifera says. “We want to be known for our selection and our thoughtful program that spans the globe.” The same attention will go into the wine offerings, with a red and a white on tap and 35 bottles under $50. Six cocktails such as Negronis and Manhattans will be batched and served in individual-size bottles (something I saw a lot of during a recent trip to New York City).
“There’s nothing quite like this, the concept is completely out of my own head,” Nocifera says. “Service Bar is about community, and what I think Denver needs.”
Look for Service Bar and Lower 48, Nocifera and Figura’s contemporary American restaurant next door, to open at the end of November.
2020 Lawrence St.