Food News

Former Gay Bar Compound Basix Slated to Become Second Postino

Compound Basix will soon become Postino Broadway.
Compound Basix will soon become Postino Broadway. Westword file photo
One of Denver's longest-running gay bars, Compound Basix, closed this year after operating at 145 Broadway for more than 25 years. On October 28, the owners of the bar and its building (which also houses New First Avenue Liquor) sold the property for just over $3 million. The address won't remain vacant for long; renovations are already in the works to add Denver's second outpost of Phoenix-based Postino WineCafe.

The building dates back to 1895 and was once a bakery before seeing a long string of bars take over. Postino, which made its Denver debut at 2715 17th Street in LoHi three years ago, plans to restore some of the space's original features, including brick walls and street-facing windows (which were covered over long ago). The company, run by Craig and Kris DeMarco and Lauren Bailey, is somewhat of a specialist in turning old and historic properties into vibrant new eateries; Postino LoHi is located in what was once the Denver Book Binding Company, and the wine bar's original Phoenix location is in a circa-1940 post office (hence the name). As at the LoHi wine bar, the company will have the help of Denver's Xan Creative for the design.
Co-founder and CEO Lauren Bailey says that the goal of the building restoration will be to bring in more natural light while adding indoor-outdoor space and a large patio.

Like its LoHi sibling, Postino Broadway will specialize in bruschetta, panini, soups and salads, along with reasonably priced wines by the glass and bottle (many exclusive to the company) and craft beers. The same special that offers $5 glasses of wine and pitchers of beer from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily in LoHi will be repeated on Broadway.

Postino is shooting for a summer 2019 opening date. Just down the block, the old First Avenue Hotel is being renovated into micro-apartments, with a ground-floor restaurant space — where El Diablo served its last tacos in 2103 — currently for rent. While this stretch of Broadway is a little less gay than it once was, Boyztown and Needz (a men's underwear shop) are still hanging on.
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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation