The restaurant space at 3759 Lipan Street that was once Longo's Subway Tavern (and, most recently, TAG Burger Bar) is gradually being transformed into something new by owners Larimer Associates and partner Jesse Morreale. And like the slow-but-steady construction, a gradual trickle of information has come from Morreale and his business partners. At the end of August, we learned that he was planning his first restaurant since the closure of El Diablo on Broadway some four years ago, but the location and name were not divulged. Then, a few days later, the address at the corner of West 38th Avenue and Lipan was announced, followed soon after by word that Solera chef/owner Goose Sorensen had signed on to deliver the menu.
And now, more than a month later, the name has been released; in what seems typical of the retro-swank style for which Morreale is known, the new bar and restaurant will be called the Thunderbird Imperial Lounge. (Conveniently, the Thunderbird Lounge that used to be on Quebec Street is no more; Larimer Associates happens to own that property now, too.) In its latest statement, the group notes that the name and menu of this new Thunderbird are "designed to invoke and honor the nostalgia of past decades with a modern twist."
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The Thunderbird will read like a trip through the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, with decor collected by Morreale over the years, including concert posters from his days in the music business, leather booths from Rockbar (Morreale's now-closed club on East Colfax Avenue) and a jukebox from a 1998 movie that will be left for Thunderbird guests to identify. Other nostalgic touches will include forest-green walls, wrought-iron light fixtures and a horseshoe bar. The space will have seating for 150 customers in the dining room and bar and on the patio.
Sorensen's menu is described as "affordable, elevated comfort food," with burgers, wings, salads and sandwiches — along with returning items from some of Morreale's previous restaurants. The bar will pour twenty beers on tap and will also serve "blue-collar cocktails" and game-day specials for neighborhood sports fans.
The only remaining detail is the opening date of the Thunderbird.