Bars

Sienna Wine Bar's New Congress Park Location Has Double the Space Plus a Patio

When Kent opened the larger location, her friends convinced her to install a selfie-spot.
When Kent opened the larger location, her friends convinced her to install a selfie-spot. Kristin Pazulski
Sienna Wine Bar opened its new location at 3434 East 12th Avenue in October, more than doubling the space of its original spot, which was two doors away. The new space has more seating and artistic touches that impress as much as the wine list.

Owner Mary Kent opened the small wine bar about twelve years ago at 3422 East 12th. Since then, the menu has grown, the staff has collected decorative knickknacks and the neighborhood has embraced the business. Kent was happy with her small spot in the Congress Park neighborhood, but when Pudge Brothers Pizza closed, leaving the corner location with a large patio available, she found it hard to resist.

“I loved the old bar exactly as it was, but this patio was a siren call,” admits Kent, pointing to a snow-covered space that can fit around fifty guests once the weather warms up.

The new space needed a lot of work and has been in the works for over a year. Kent never intended to close the bar for any time, but delays with the city pushed the opening back, and the lease on the old space ended in August. Ultimately, the business had to close for about two months, finally opening in October.
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The 22-foot bar was made by Sienna Wine Bar owner Mary Kent and her husband and includes special knickknacks collected over the years by Kent and Sienna staff.
Kristin Pazulski
The bar that now sits about ten guests is also new. Kent designed the bar and collected the items included in the resin design; her husband, Quince, framed the 22-foot-long bar and poured the resin at their home.

The result is a bar filled with knickknacks that are meaningful to Sienna's staff and the Kent family, like a trio of bears representing family members; a little gnome scene; items that used to sit on the shelves of the old bar; a lily with a niece’s name, and more. The former bar was also created by Kent and her husband using resin. "That bar was a mishmash of treasures, and this one is a more organized mishmash of treasures,” explains Kent.

Much of the new space was a family art project, including the themed bathrooms — one is day, one is night. Kent, her husband and their son laid the floral wallpaper flooring in both bathrooms; in the day-themed room, Kent created a flower collage on the ceiling, and a longtime employee painted the mural on the wall. The night bathroom features a night sky — a painted black ceiling with little LED lights peaking through as stars.
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Sienna Wine Bar's new bathrooms are works of art by the owner, her family and employees.
Kristin Pazulski
Kent’s friends told her she must have a selfie wall, so there’s a full-length mirror for guests to stop and pose with “Sienna Wine Bar” in neon lights. There’s a full moon hanging in the hallway and a mini lighted diorama by local artist Scott Hildebrandt hidden in the wall.

The wall decor has been collected over the years, and each item has a story; the furniture has been repurposed from the old space. “It was very important to bring over the soul of Sienna,” Kent  notes, adding that regulars, who flooded into Sienna on its first soft-opening day last month, are happy with the new space.

The Sienna menu remains unchanged, which Kent says those regulars are grateful for — and may have insisted upon. She says she's hard-pressed to remove things from the menu, because everyone that comes in has their favorites, which delights her. Creating that sense of community was her motivation when she opened twelve years ago. “I wanted a gathering place first, and then a place to get a great glass of wine that’s affordable,” she explains, and the locals' enthusiasm for her menu illustrates that.

The food offerings range from shareable dishes to small entrees, like chicken au gratin and ratatouille, both of which are made for Sienna by Alain Veratti of Crêpes ’n Crêpes in Cherry Creek. There are also cheese plates, salads and snacks, including Marcona almonds and an assortment of olives. The dessert menu has an espresso crème brûlée, a classic soda float with vanilla ice cream and a bubbly red wine float.
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Sienna Wine Bar has a small, strong menu of small plates, including the bruschetta and a chicken au gratin made by Crêpes ’n Crêpes owner Alain Veratti.
Kristin Pazulski
Although Sienna Wine Bar feels like a French cafe, the wine list, which has bottles priced from $25 to $180 and glasses for $7 to $18, offers a wider range. There are options from Italy, Portugal, Germany, South Africa and Chile as well as Colorado, California and Washington state. Kent would love to add some Greek wines, but hasn’t found any she loves just yet. Sienna also has a selection of beers available and an impressive non-alcoholic menu for the sober-conscious.

The wine list does change, but it's rare. Kent has a self-imposed rule: If she wants to add a bottle, she has to remove another. “It’s really hard to take a bottle away. They are all my friends,” she says.

The new location also has more kitchen space for the staff, and the menu could expand. Kent is hoping to add lunch hours, but the focus for now is getting used to the new space and opening the patio in the spring.

Sienna Wine Bar is located at 3434 East 12th Avenue and is open from 3 to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 3 to 10 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit siennawinebar.com.
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Kristin Pazulski has been a renaissance faire wench, a reporter, an espresso-shot slinger, an editor of a newspaper for the homeless and a grant writer. She's now a freelance writer covering Denver's restaurant scene.
Contact: Kristin Pazulski

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