Happy Hour

Hidden Gems: Blueprint Bar Takes a Modern Approach to the Neighborhood Bar

Blueprint Bar takes up an inconspicuous corner of 17th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street.
Blueprint Bar takes up an inconspicuous corner of 17th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street. Veronica Penney
Even if you frequent the Uptown neighborhood, it’s possible that you’ve walked right past Blueprint Bar without realizing it. The second restaurant from Ryan DiFranco, after DiFranco's on Lincoln Street, opened almost a year ago at 450 East 17th Avenue, on a quiet corner that previously housed Caveau Wine Bar.

Blueprint caters to the afternoon-drinks crowd, serving up a selection of wines, cocktails, local beers and small plates. With how quickly the city is growing and changing, DiFranco designed Blueprint as a throwback to staple Denver neighborhood bars.

“We wanted to create something that was approachable but not too fancy, not like a speakeasy cocktail bar, but also not too divey,” says DiFranco. “Kind of your everyday bar, where everyone can come in and enjoy a really great drink, a really nice glass of wine, a local beer at a decent price point, and then have small plates to accompany that.”

click to enlarge VERONICA PENNEY
Veronica Penney
Patrons of DiFranco’s will notice some familiar items on the Blueprint menu, including a meatball slider and burrata, but the menu explores more than just Italian cuisine.

“I think the idea of having small plates gives us free rein to play around and do what we want,” says DiFranco. Blueprint’s executive chef has a background in Puerto Rican and Filipino cuisine, and DiFranco brings his knowledge of Italian and Middle Eastern cuisine to the equation, allowing the restaurant to explore flavors from around the world. “That’s the great thing about small plates; we can totally have some fun with this menu, and it doesn’t have to be just American,” says DiFranco.

Blueprint is open from 4 to 10 p.m. daily, and while the restaurant does offer lunch catering, there are no current plans to expand into lunch service. If breakfast is more your style, Blueprint also serves brunch about once a month; you can catch the next one on June 25.

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Veronica is a contributor to Westword’s Food & Drink section and is equally passionate about cooking and eating. She can be found riding her bike really, really far -- usually farther than intended, thanks to her terrible sense of direction. Her culinary enthusiasm and outdoor adventures are fueled by strong black coffee and the undying hope of finding an excellent cheese plate.