After a decade of running a business and traveling, Denver native and East High grad Paul Laurie returned to the Mile High City last fall with an urge to explore this question: "What would happen if Denver's most talented chefs, bartenders and musicians were brought together and given complete creative freedom over an evening?" The answer was Silver Spork Social, a special supper club that put on fifteen dinners in Laurie's LoDo loft over the past year, culminating with a bacchanal in mid-November at 3090 Downing Street.
Laurie had originally planned to hold the end-of-the-year bash in a LoDo residence that had once been a brothel, but in just three days, he'd reached capacity for that location. So he looked around for a bigger venue and found the former home of Tosh's Hacienda (and Swallows, and Eden, and 3090 Eden, a short-lived swingers' club), which was big enough for close to 400 guests (one of whom was a member of the McIntosh family, which ran the legendary Mexican restaurant). "It was a raging dance party that lasted until 4 a.m.," he reports. But then, it helps that his brother is Jamie Laurie, aka Jonny5 of the Flobots, who entertained the crowd.
And Laurie plans to put more on Denver's plate next year. "The first year was amazing," he says. "There was a lot of really good reaction to it from the Denver community -- not just from the chefs and bartenders, but all the people who came."
Silver Spork started as a hobby, "and it still is a hobby," Laurie explains, "but I was surprised by the reaction to it. It's not a new concept, but for me it was a new thing to do: spread more adventure and exploration throughout the local community." And the adventures will continue next year with more supper-club dinners (he's moving them out of his loft, though) as well as more parties "to Denver nightlife new options, in alternative settings and giving people a reason to dress up and have fun."
Inspired by Monkeytown 4's stint in Denver earlier this year, Laurie says he also hopes to incorporate more art into the events and keep things lively. But he'll keep things social. "I'm more about the engagement, having strangers meet each other" he says.
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Want to get engaged with Silver Spork? Go to silversporksocial.com for updates. And keep reading to see more photos from the one-year anniversary bash.