When the Cheeky Monk opened in 2007, not many people thought a restaurant specializing in Belgian beer and food would last on Colfax Avenue. Nearly five years later, the spot is thriving, and its owners James and Tina Pachorek will add their own brewery, Three Saints, next door this fall. In the meantime, though, James is adding at least a dozen new tap lines behind the bar, bringing the total to 52, and is in the midst of doubling the size of his bottled beer list from around 65 to 75 selections to upwards of 150 -- an astounding number that could make the Cheeky Monk's bottle menu the largest one in the city.
"We are bringing in bottles that have never appeared in Denver or are very, very rare," he says. "When we started doing this stuff, there weren't a lot of other folks doing the same thing and we did the best with what we could. But with the growth in the last five to ten years, we feel like we can put a really good draft lineup out there. You can have 150 beers on a bottle list, whether its an American craft beer or a beer from small little Belgian town that no one has ever heard of, and people will drink them."
In addition to Belgian specialties, the Pachoreks will add rare or smaller-batch beers from breweries like Lost Abbey, Russian River, Avery and the Bruery that specialized is Belgian styles. "Why limit ourselves," he asks. "It's not always easy to grab a keg of something from Lost Abbey or Russian River, but people are always eager for something new and we want to be able to offer them those beers."
As for Three Saints, the brewery has been licensed and approved by both the state and federal governments, but the Pachoreks are taking their time with construction.
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"We have been sitting down and throwing around some ideas, focusing on the design," James says about the 4,000-square-foot space. When it opens, probably in September or October, the brewery will likely have a ten-barrel system focused on Belgian styles.