This Labor Day weekend marks the grand opening of Gold Point, with a new vibe, but not a complete overhaul of the bar formerly known as Bar Fausto. Gold Point is a new endeavor from several of the owners of the Matchbox, the Squire Lounge and the 715 Club, including Sudhir Kudva, Corey Costello, Michael Reilly and newcomer to the group Colin Hankins, a former manager at the Squire.
Gold Point looks similar to its predecessor but has been opened up a little after some minor renovations, and the ambience is more relaxed. The bar never closed during the transition, and the bartenders from Bar Fausto have remained on staff. Kudva says that looking out for the livelihoods of bar employees during the overhaul was an intentional choice.
A comfy, living room-esque lounge area makes guests feel right at home at the front of the space. In my previous Bar Fausto experiences, I don't recall small children (Kudva's young daughter was present) and comfortable seating being part of the deal. The bar had always struck me as too New Denver and not super- approachable, with an emphasis on mixology and a price point that had most folks moving on after a couple drinks.
But the new owners are working to "warm the place up" and create more of a casual atmosphere that brings the best of neighborhood bar culture together with what they hope are the best cocktails in town. People who love the Matchbox and the Squire for beer-and-shot combos or cans of PBR and White Claw, and people who loved Bar Fausto for some Pappy Van Winkle's Reserve Bourbon or other top-shelf spirits can all find what they're looking for here. After all, this part of town still has a fairly varied crowd, so why not cast a wide net? Rather than dictating what you drink, the new owners say they just want you to hang out and have a few rounds of whatever floats your boat.
The name Gold Point pays homage to the neighborhood; the first part comes from Gold Star Sausage, which moved out of the area several years ago, and the second part comes from Five Points. The bar's logo includes a compass with the northeast point in gold to represent the northeast side of Denver. The owners' respectful treatment of the renovations of the Squire and the 715 Club give them some Old Denver credibility, and they're carrying that respect through to their newest project, noting that the neighborhood association meeting about the bar opening involved no opposition, a real rarity these days.
A new patio, which will be both a nice spot for some outdoor drinks and a certified pollinator habitat to attract birds, bees and other urban wildlife, shows a commitment to improving the neighborhood. Plants will all be indigenous, except for planters filled with organic herbs and vegetables that will be used at the bar. This dream patio is still in the works and is mostly just cement and gravel so far, alongside a mural that will remain as a part of the exterior decor. But there are already a few plants peeking over the patio fence from Capello's, a grain-free-pasta company next door. The overall vision is a miniature habitat with eclectic furnishings similar to Forest Room Five's patio, softening the industrial side of this part of town. The group's other bars nearby participate in the Crush Walls graffiti art festival, and Gold Point will likely be involved as well, so new art could soon be added to the building.
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For the food menu, Goed Zuur, just a few blocks away, will handle charcuterie and sandwich selections, with rotating specials every week. And a new happy hour from 4 to 8 p.m. weekdays and noon to 8 p.m on weekends will attract an earlier crowd. The bar will also host special events and parties, since the new owners are fond of raising money for local nonprofits.
As for the mostly ceremonial "grand reopening" this Sunday, September 1, there will be a specialty cocktail, some drink specials and a little collaboration with giveaways from Stem Ciders. But it will otherwise be a low-key affair, congruent with the overall spirit of the new Gold Point, a place where the new owners invite you to come as you are, drink what you want, and stay a while.
Gold Point is located at 3126 Larimer Street and is open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 720-445-9691.