Location, location, location: Bonanno Concepts rolled the dice on 233 East Seventh

Last fall, the Lancer Lounge suddenly stopped pouring when it was seized by the State of Colorado. In Monopoly terms, this rundown dive bar on East Seventh Avenue was no Boardwalk, but to Frank Bonanno, it was as valuable as one of those highly-frequented reds (Illinois Avenue, perhaps?), given its location between Mizuna and Bones, with Luca D'Italia right around the corner. The well-known chef-restaurateur snapped it up quickly. See also: Denver's ten best new bars of 2012

And though the turnaround that Frank Bonanno and his wife/partner, Jacqueline, did on the space was almost equally fast, it was long enough for fans of the old Lancer to worry that Bonanno would turn the spot into another high-end craft cocktail spot, like Green Russell. Others wondered if he'd shutter it altogether, reconfiguring the space to make it part of Mizuna.

What surfaced instead was Vesper Lounge, with cocktails on tap and a Middle Eastern-themed bar menu. Find out if it's worth the rent when my review is posted on westword.com.

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Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz

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