Breakfast and Brunch

Rise and Grind With the Rackhouse's Burlesque Brunch

The Rackhouse serves up a hot Sunday brunch.
The Rackhouse serves up a hot Sunday brunch. Bridget Wood

Themed brunches have become increasingly popular in Denver, and no other eatery is offering more fun or variety than the Rackhouse Pub. Every Sunday offers something new — and often something nude.

You may be familiar with the Rackhouse’s featured brands, Bierstadt Lagerhaus and C Squared Ciders, which both make excellent products beneath the restaurant's upstairs dining room, or maybe you've stopped in for food and bar games at the RiNo eatery and taproom. But brunch is an entirely different experience, often served on the C Squared production floor.

click to enlarge French toast comes coated with frosted flakes. - BRIDGET WOOD
French toast comes coated with frosted flakes.
Bridget Wood
A new partnership with the the Rackhouse is the Rebel Girl’s Rise N’ Grind show, with burlesque dancers, both male and female, in performances choreographed to your favorite songs. Andie Panties gives an electric performance in one of the best erotic Prince shows you’ll ever see, ending with with a high kick and some masterful air guitar on an inflatable instrument. Bettie Belladonna was crowned "Most High" at the recent Denver Mile High Burlesque Festival, and it really shows in her performance. The naked ladies do not disappoint, and who doesn’t want boobs and butts with their brunch? If you missed it, the Rise N’ Grind crew will be back on September 15.

The brunch menu changes regularly; for the burlesque brunch, it was basic breakfast fare — eggs, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit — so as not to take away from what was cooking on stage. But the French toast almost stole the show, a special creation with crunch from frosted flakes added to the egg-dipped toast. Bottomless (well, almost) brunch rings in at a mere $10, entertainment included, so we won't complain about the lack of variety.

click to enlarge Order your beer-mosa by the liter. - BRIDGET WOOD
Order your beer-mosa by the liter.
Bridget Wood
Considering your surroundings, cider and lager are certainly called for; you can mix either with orange juice for hyper-local versions of a mimosa. In addition, any mixed drink can be made at the full bar upstairs. You can also order Bierstadt's lagers in one-liter mugs, but drink quickly: The beer could get warm from the hot, hot performances.

click to enlarge Purple rain, purple rain. - BRIDGET WOOD
Purple rain, purple rain.
Bridget Wood
There's plenty of room in the enormous warehouse space (that was once a book-binding company) for giant versions of standard bar games. Beer pong here substitutes cups and ping-pong balls with trash cans and dodge balls, but it's not easy since your targets are so far away. Cornhole is played with bean-bag chairs that you heave at boards that are about five feet tall. Other fun games include giant Jenga and Connect Four.

Past brunches at the Rackhouse have included Bacon Brunch, with bacon-themed food served while Kevin Bacon movies are projected, and Salsa Brunch, with Latin-inspired fare and salsa dance lessons. Upcoming themes include the ’80s and football. "We just celebrated our third anniversary, and now we're really starting to think outside the box," says Chuck Harris, the restaurant's "Ambassador of Fun" (sometimes also known as the general manager).

If the burlesque brunch is any indicator, brunch fans are in for a wild ride.

The Rackhouse Pub, at 2875 Blake Street, serves brunch every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 720-570-7824 or visit Hot tip: Since brunch themes rotate weekly, check the Rackhouse Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.
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Bridget Wood is a contributor to Westword’s Food & Drink section. She can be found wandering Denver, mimosa in hand, searching for the best brunch spots the city has to offer. She spends her weekends shopping for obscure records and working on the Sunday crossword puzzle. Despite her Boston roots, she is learning to love green chile.