Six months ago, in September, Lance Hanson was mingling with crowds and enjoying a cocktail made with CapRock organic gin -- his gin -- at the Source; it was the first night that CapRock Farm Bar was pouring cocktails, and Hanson, the founder of Peak Spirits, the Hotchkiss-based distillery under which CapRock gin (along with vodka and brandy) is made, was feeling the pulsating energy.
CapRock, which takes center stage at the Source, making it the focal point for everything that surrounds it, seemed like it would be a huge hit, especially in a city like Denver, where the local spirit culture is huge. And Hanson, who also founded Jack Rabbit Hill Estate Winery, had high hopes that the cocktail bar would soar, in part because of the progressive vision of Kyle Zeppelin, one of the developers of the Source. "This is a guy who doesn't just talk the talk -- he walks the walk, and he's set the bar pretty damn high with his passion and commitment. Kyle is definitely blazing some trails here," said Hanson when I interviewed him last year.
But CapRock's trail ends on Friday, when the cocktail bar will close.
"We have tons of respect for the Source and its success in bringing together some of Colorado's best artisan makers," said Hanson in a release. "But as we ramped up the Farm Bar, both Peak Spirits and the Source management realized that our strategic objectives were on different paths," he added, noting that while the bar may be closing, he's departing with gratitude. "We've made some great friends and partners thanks to the Farm Bar, and we look forward to some exciting projects ahead."
In fact, notes the release, Peak Spirits is working on plans to bring back CapRock Farm Bar "2.0" in the Denver-Boulder area in early 2015.
"We recognize the great spirits that CapRock makes and will continue to support them at the Source in different ways," noted Zeppelin, stressing, too, that "The bar area is a community space that will expand its reach and offerings in the next couple of months."
He reveals, too, that a new lease has been signed for that space. "We have a tenant -- there's no name yet -- and that tenant will have a full bar with beer, wine and cocktails that emphasize mostly Colorado-based distilleries," said Zeppelin. In addition, there will be a "food component, but we're not entirely sure what it's going to be," he noted.
The timeline for the new opening, however, is ninety days out because the tenant has to apply for a new liquor license. In the meantime, the bar and extensive seating area will double as a pop-up space for distillers and brewers to highlight spirits and beers. And, said Zeppelin, mornings will be devoted to a juicing station, which could pop up as early as Saturday morning.