Lisa and Mike Lapp kept the wine flowing on Old South Pearl Street for sixteen years before closing the Village Cork in 2018. Lisa was the face of the Village Cork, while Mike had a hand in keeping the restaurant looking great over the years. And in 2017, the Lapps also opened SoDo Village Market, a low-impact market serving the neighborhood where they live.
But this summer Mike launched an entirely different kind of venture: a franchise location of indoor adventure park Urban Air, at 9550 East 40th Avenue in Stapleton. "It's a 37,000-square-foot indoor theme park," he explains — a far cry from a neighborhood grocery store or corner wine bar. "We have a zip line, bumper cars, a ninja warrior course, climbing walls, a ropes course — all kinds of stuff for kids and adults. We're kind of the next level of trampoline park."
Lisa is putting her restaurant management experience to use by making sure the food and beverage side of the business is running efficiently. "Lisa is getting the right products into the cafe and working with teenagers, teaching them what having a job is all about," Mike notes.
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While Urban Air is a nationwide chain with more than eighty locations (the Lapps' was number 85 when it opened), the owners are keeping at least some of the products local. Coffee comes from MORU Specialty Coffee Roasters in southeast Denver, and all of the beers served are Colorado-made. "The fact that parents can even get a beer at a place like this is a plus," Mike notes.
He says the main reason for getting into the adventure park business was to offer something new and fun for Stapleton families. "This is something kids have to do without their phones," he points out. But it's also great for grownups, and the place has been booking out well in advance with holiday parties and corporate team outings.
But if a quiet neighborhood market is more your speed, Mike says SoDo Village Market (at 2395 South Downing Street) recently added a liquor license so you can sip wine while picking up your organic and sustainable specialty foods (or just fill a jug with kombucha to go).
Urban Air offers memberships, one-day tickets and special-event bookings. Visit the Urban Air website for details.