Openings and Closings

Curio Bar Team Takes Over Former Home of Blake Street Vault

Courtesy Consume & Create
A rendering of how Brass Tacks will soon look.
The Blake Street Vault made it nearly a decade at 1516 Blake Street before shutting down on the last day of 2017. There was never much of a theme at the Vault; it was a simple neighborhood bar in a downtown zone better known for its nightclubs. That style seems just fine for Stuart Jensen, who plans to open Brass Tacks at the address before year-end.

"We want to be an everyday neighborhood hangout for people," Jensen says, adding that Brass Tacks will be a casual, approachable classic bar with simple food and affordable drinks.

Jensen and his partners, Katsumi Yuso Ruiz, Stephen Julia and chef Zach Spott, also run Curio Bar and Green Seed Market inside the Denver Central Market at 2669 Larimer Street.

click to enlarge Brass Tacks will have an order counter for food service. - COURTESY CONSUME & CREATE
Brass Tacks will have an order counter for food service.
Courtesy Consume & Create
The new bar will be open for lunch and dinner every day, with counter-service ordering, sandwiches and other light fare for lunch, and what the team is calling "large-format shareables" during dinner. A few vegan and vegetarian options will also be available; Jensen explains that they just want to "purposely create options to make everyone feel at home." The bar menu will include classic cocktails with a few modern surprises and twenty beers on tap, with a mix of local and out-of-state brews.

Don't expect too much change in the decor; Julia says the space is already a "classic piece of Denver history," so their goal is to expose even more of that while maintaining a welcoming environment.

Brass Tacks will ramp up slowly as 2018 comes to a close, and the team expects to be fully rolling in January, with the doors opening at 10 a.m. daily and staying open until at least 1 a.m., and even later on the weekends. Julia also notes that in addition to happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. every day, there will be a late-night happy hour from 10 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

While there have been several restaurant and bar vacancies in LoDo in recent months, newcomers like Jovanina's Broken Italian (right next door to Brass Tacks), Morin, Chow Morso Osteria and Pony Up, not to mention the redevelopment of the Dairy Block, are proving that the area is once again becoming a prime entertainment district that can compete with other trendy neighborhoods.