There is little about Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, Justin Cucci‘s month-old “gastro-brothel” and music bar, that doesn’t wow: The eclectic design tastefully recalls the building’s days as an adult bookstore, the dug out basement-turned-stage hosts acts ranging from cover band Citizen Dan to songwriter-actress Emily Kinney, and the menu is a collection of sharable eats with seasonal highlights.

One such dish, the scallop board (pictured) is a build-your-own appetizer. Culinary director Daniel Asher’s smoked bay scallops arrive just waiting to be placed on a chive crème fraîche–smeared lavosh cracker and gussied up with a squeeze of grilled lemon and a few drops of house-made hot sauce. Or reverse the order and place the scallops on the bottom, or skip the hot sauce, or however you want to build your bite. The must-order app is all about fresh, interactive fun, which aptly describes Ophelia’s itself.

Bonus: The downtown spot recently launched Saturday and Sunday brunch. Pair bottomless mimosas with dishes such as smoked cherry and pecan sticky buns with bourbon crème anglaise; fluffy Greek yogurt pancakes with balsamic blueberries, lemon crema, and almond granola; and Berkshire pork rib Benedict stacked with green chile cornbread, apple slaw, poached eggs, and Carolina Gold mustard hollandaise.

1215 20th St., 303-993-8023

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Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.