"I want a conversational bar -- not a bar where people are going to zone out in front of the TV," says Pete VanItallie, a former caterer and bar and event manager, who just inked a deal on the former La Brisa space at 375 South Pearl Street, which will reopen as Finley's Pub on June 12.
"I'm half Irish, and this is going to be an Irish-style bar, but our main focus will be on really good craft beers on tap, because I'm a huge beer guy," confesses VanItallie, who says that he'll open with eight to ten handles, eventually multiplying the taplines to twenty, inclusive of suds from across the country. "We'll definitely have a lot of Colorado beers, but we'll also have a handful from California, Oregon and other states with great beers, and the taps will always rotate." In addition, says VanItallie, the bar will be stocked with bottled beers from around the world -- and he even bought a separate walk-in just to store them.
He notes, too, that the pub, which is currently undergoing construction, will hustle bourbons and Irish Whiskey, along with a small wine list and an "upscale farm-to-table pub menu," courtesy of executive chef Bentley Folse, who recently quit his gig as the lead line cook at Trillium to join forces with VanItallie, a long-time friend. And Folse, who hails from New Orleans, says that his menu will implement "fresh ingredients with a New Orleans twist."
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The space, reveals VanItallie, will also pay tribute to Colorado outdoor pursuits -- namely skiing and hiking. "I love to ski and hike, and we'll have some sports decor that represents that," he says, but most important, stresses VanItallie, "I want to bring a sense of community to the neighborhood and offer really good craft beers and pub food at a reasonable cost. I want people to have a place to talk to their neighbors."
Finely's will be open from 11:30 a.m. to midnight, Tuesday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.