The Curtis Club, Denver's new-school Old West saloon, never closed, but it will be hosting a Grand Ol' Reopening Party this Saturday, August 15, to unveil a new food menu and cocktail program. Executive chef Chewy Peralta collaborated with owner Scott Bagus and general manager Jeremy Randall to create a menu that's more accessible to working-class residents of the surrounding neighborhood. The new focus is on what the restaurant and bar does best: great comfort food and drinks.
Other changes include new hours, a new sign out front featuring the restaurant's name stenciled across the entire building over a panel of reclaimed wood, and a new lunch program. While the dining room is no longer open during lunch for walk-in customers (as of last month), Randall is hoping to launch a "box lunch" program to deliver meals to surrounding businesses. Other new programs include an industry-discount happy hour (available any time the Curtis Club is open), a 10 percent discount for neighborhood residents, and extended late-night happy hours. The transformation makes the eatery more of an everyday spot, "a bar with amazing food," as Randall puts it, instead of the destination restaurant with a contemporary, New American menu that it originally opened as.
For the grand ol' relaunch, the Curtis Club will open for brunch at 10 a.m. Saturday. The bar is upping its brunch booze game with a build-your-own mimosa tray, including three types of juice with an assortment of jellies, berries and a bottle of champagne in the center.
Peralta's new menu shows off spicy, sultry and savory flavors that comfort-food fans desire. He explains that customer favorites — a you-call-it burger, a veggie burger, a BLT and popular sides — will stay on the menu. The biggest change is the new mix-and-match configuration of the menu, with a la carte mains and affordable sides that allow diners to build their own ideal meal. Dishes include a beef brisket sandwich ($8), barbecued pork sandwich ($7), poblano grilled cheese ($7), pale-ale-poached shrimp ($7) and queso verde with homemade chips ($7). Most of the sides, like garlic mashed potatoes, potato salad and coleslaw, come in at $4. Another old favorite, the crispy egg ($6) — breaded, baked over-easy and served over a slightly spicy and smoky romesco sauce — is also back.
Saturday's Grand Ol' Reopening goes all day, with cornhole, happy-hour prices for the length of the party, and live performances by the Hang Rounders and Andy Hamilton & the Whiskey Hitchers, plus a special guest DJ. There will be a $3 cover at the door after 9 p.m.
The Curtis Club's new hours are 3 p.m. to midnight Tuesday and Wednesday, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, and brunch beginning at 10 a.m. on the weekends. New happy hours are 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Keep reading for more photos of the new menu items.