Class Is in Session at School House Kitchen & Libations in Arvada

The bar at School House Kitchen boasts more than 475 different whiskeys.
The bar at School House Kitchen boasts more than 475 different whiskeys.
Mark Antonation

Scott Spears, Arvada native and owner of Scrumptious Ice Cream, just opened School House Kitchen and Libations on Tuesday in Olde Town Arvada in a former school house originally built in 1882. The spacious bar and restaurant features a towering bar of whiskeys with bottles that line shelves all the way up to the vaulted ceiling, decor made from reclaimed school furnishings, and a menu of American classics with a nod to childhood comfort dishes.

See also: Two Rivers Coffee in Arvada Reopens After Move to Larger Cafe

The building was originally a school house built in 1882.
The building was originally a school house built in 1882.
Mark Antonation

General Manager Seth Murty, a veteran of Udi's (now Silvi's Kitchen), Central Bistro and other Denver eateries, says School House is embracing its Arvada neighborhood. "We're not Denver, we know that -- and we love it," he states.

Still, with a bar boasting more than 475 different whiskeys (putting it among the top in the country), a fun, open and airy atmosphere that encourages socializing, and plenty of space to spread out, with 6,000 square feet encompassing the bar, dining room and upstairs lounge, Denverites should be envious of Arvada's newest attraction.

The highlight of the menu is a list of build-your-own entrees -- "Varsity" flatbreads, "Collegiate" burgers and "Short Bus" mac 'n cheese -- with more than 50 toppings that customers can add. Murty says the restaurant will be running contests on the School House Facebook page to see who can build the best combo, which will then be added to the specials board.

"We wanted to have a menu that would appeal to a wide range of guests," adds Murty. Among a list of dinner plates covering barbecue pork ribs, lasagnetti and spanakopita, Murty points out the half boneless chicken stuffed with prosciutto, sage and Parmesan as one of his favorites from chef Steven Baker's kitchen.

Bar manager Drew Smith, also Arvada born and raised, notes that in addition to whiskey, he also stocks 25 beers on tap and another 25 in cans and bottles, listed of course on a menu that resembles a multiple-choice Scantron quiz. Bar-table tops are painted with elements from Chemistry class; Smith says they could actually be pushed together to form an accurate periodic table.

The bar top itself sports 4,100 yellow number 2 pencils laid out in a grid under a layer of clear resin. Other schoolhouse decor includes reclaimed card catalogs, filing cabinets, bar stools made from cafeteria chairs, old typewriters, a gym locker and the metal frame from the inside of a grand piano.

School House Kitchen and Libations is open from 11 a..m to 11 p.m. daily, but Murty notes that hours may extend later if there are customers. "At our soft opening on Saturday, there were people in here until 1 a.m.," he notes.

Decor includes old school desks and chairs.
Decor includes old school desks and chairs.
Mark Antonation
New bar stools were built from old school chairs.
New bar stools were built from old school chairs.
Mark Antonation
Bar tables are topped with elements from the periodic table.
Bar tables are topped with elements from the periodic table.
Mark Antonation

Continue on for more photos from Arvada's new School House Kitchen and Libations.

 

Number 2 pencils form the bar top.
Number 2 pencils form the bar top.
Mark Antonation
The bar menu consists of multiple choices; the kitchen menu comes in a Pee-Chee folder.
The bar menu consists of multiple choices; the kitchen menu comes in a Pee-Chee folder.
Mark Antonation
Vaulted ceilings let light into the bar.
Vaulted ceilings let light into the bar.
Mark Antonation
Guests will be in their element.
Guests will be in their element.
Mark Antonation
Class Is in Session at School House Kitchen & Libations in Arvada
Mark Antonation
Class Is in Session at School House Kitchen & Libations in Arvada
Mark Antonation

Continue on for more photos from Arvada's new School House Kitchen and Libations.

 

Class Is in Session at School House Kitchen & Libations in Arvada
Mark Antonation
Class Is in Session at School House Kitchen & Libations in Arvada
Mark Antonation
Class Is in Session at School House Kitchen & Libations in Arvada
Mark Antonation
The hall of presidents.
The hall of presidents.
Mark Antonation
A chandelier made from chair legs.
A chandelier made from chair legs.
Mark Antonation
Stairs between the lobby and the upper level space, which can be rented for private parties.
Stairs between the lobby and the upper level space, which can be rented for private parties.
Mark Antonation
The upper level.
The upper level.
Mark Antonation
School House could be your type of place.
School House could be your type of place.
Mark Antonation

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School House Kitchen and Libations

5560 Olde Wadsworth Blvd.
Arvada, CO 80002

www.facebook.com/Schoolhousearvada


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