For the past several years, the bar and restaurant at 1612 and 1618 East 17th Avenue have been run as two separate businesses; the restaurant space was Bread N Butter (and Limón before that), while the bar side was Next Door Lounge. But Cheryl Baldree saw it as one continuous space, so she and her husband bought both sides and converted it into The Knotty Neighbor at the end of last year.
The two sides are separated by only French doors inside, and Baldree notes that they also share a kitchen. So for the past month, she's been working on blending the decor and giving the bar side a facelift so that new customers will see it as one establishment with one menu and staff.
That menu is overseen by chef Clay Cantrell, a native of North Carolina. Unlike the Southern food served at Bread N Butter, the Knotty Neighbor serves what Baldree describes as "Colorado comfort food with a Southern twist," with local proteins found in the bison Bolognese, the cedar-roasted trout and the green chile-braised lamb. On January 1, the kitchen launched an all-new menu for dinner and weekend brunch; boxed lunches for groups are available during the day.
The bar will also rely on local products, with all well spirits provided by Mile High Spirits and wine coming from Purgatory Cellars in Parker and other Colorado wineries. Bar taps are slowly being switched over to an all-Colorado roster. Baldree also added a small stage on the bar side for karaoke and open-mic nights. A grand-opening celebration is planned for January 26, with reps from Mile High Spirits and Kingman Estate Wines handing out samples, plus a raffle and live bands.
The restaurant side is open from 4 to 10 p.m., with brunch served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and the owner points out that a late-night menu will be served at the bar from 10 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. The Knotty Neighbor closes at 2 a.m. nightly. Call 303-322-0898 or visit the restaurant's Facebook page for more events and details.