^
Keep Westword Free
4

Bill Ward has big plans for miniBAR

Bill Ward learned a hard lesson in Larimer Square, where he owned Below Bar and Slim 7: At most clubs, you only have a small window -- say, from 10 p.m. until closing -- when you can make money. But now that he's out of Larimer Square altogether, Ward's planning to open that window wide at miniBAR, the joint he opened at 222 Columbine Street a year ago.

Instead of opening at 4 p.m., miniBAR is now open for lunch, with a menu revamped by new chef Eric Olson. And Ward hopes to start opening even earlier, at 7 a.m., by the end of the month. MiniBAR's lounge-y environment is perfect for a coffee shop, he points out: They'll just open up the front windows so people can get coffee to go.

Within a few weeks, Ward will also be partnering with club veteran Mark Strazisar, who runs Sutra, to make miniBAR more of a European-type establishment. "It could be a really fun project that's different than anything else in town," Ward says. "It's a place where people can go lounge, listen to music if they want to, get on their computer. And as the night progresses, it usually gets a little louder, with a different type of crowd, until we're more of a club."

As for Ward's former spaces in Larimer Square, TAG's downstairs bar/dining room now occupies the former home of Slim 7. And Frank Bonanno's been looking at the Below Bar space, which Ward had tried turning into a gay bar back in April. "We weren't making the money we needed to down there," he says.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.