Last September, the owners of the Postino group of Phoenix, Arizona, wine bars posted their intention to open a new cafe in the former Denver Book Binding Company building in Lower Highland. The building has since undergone an extensive overhaul and Postino LoHi is nearly ready to open on the south end of the development (Recess Beer Garden also coming soon on the north end, while a middle space has yet to be claimed). Co-owner Lauren Bailey has been overseeing the project and says the plan is to open on August 26.
The Postino concept embraces an Italian attitude to wine and food; after all, the cafe's slogan is "Drinking wine at lunch is not a crime." The bar will feature 26 wines by the glass in the $8 to $12 range, in addition to a selection of bottles, many of which are exclusive to Postino, for $30 to $100. That bottle selection focuses on small producers and will vary with availability. For beer drinkers, Postino will also offer 16 draft beers with additional choices in cans and bottles, mainly from Colorado.
For food, Postino's menu covers a selection of twelve signature bruschettas that can be mixed and matched, eight panini for under $10 each, and a variety of soups, salads and appetizers — mostly with an Italian theme. Postino will also serve a separate brunch menu from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m on Saturdays and Sundays.
This will be the company's first foray outside of Arizona, but the owners are still focusing on local ingredients. "Bread is such big part of our menu," Bailey explains, so the menu will feature breads from Michael Bortz's City Bakery — a Denver bread company that opened in 2007 — custom-made for Postino.
Bailey explains that the name Postino comes from the first wine bar she and her partners (husband Wyatt Bailey and their friends Craig and Kris DeMarco) opened in 2001, which they built in a historic post office building. Since then, they've focused on expanding into other historic spaces, so the combination of the LoHi setting and book bindery proved intriguing when they began looking for a Denver location. Although the building bares little resemblance to its prior incarnation (much of the original red brick facing could not be salvaged), a mural along the south sidewalk still remains. Postino will pay further homage to the book bindery by installing a decorative book wall opposite the bar. For those wondering, the Denver Book Binding Company may have been priced out of the booming LoHi neighborhood, but the company still operates in a new location not too far away in Sunnyside.
Postino will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday, with brunch beginning at 9 a.m. on weekends. A daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. happy hour will feature $5 glasses of wine and $5 pitchers of beer.