The Cooper Lounge
at Union Station has brought back its brunch, with a special winter menu that is available on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. until Christmas Eve.
This bar, which is one of the 100 we can't live without in 2023
, is a bit hidden. It overlooks the bustle of Union Station commuter and visitor traffic, more a part of the hotel that comprises the upper floors of the station than the main dining, drinking and shopping area below. To access it, you have to find (and climb) the stairwell across from the Amtrak ticket booth.
The space does not have traditional tables — guests sit at the bar or in cozy nooks with deep chairs, coffee tables and throw pillows. "The Lounge part of our name is so important," emphasizes general manager Stacey Cordell.
The Cooper Lounge's winter brunch is both a revival and a trial. It previously offered brunch for a little over a year before the pandemic, and has brought it back through the holiday to gauge interest. If it's popular, brunch could become a permanent weekend event in the new year.
The brunch replaces the Union Station dining experience the bar offered during the holidays last year, where patrons sat in snow globe-like bubbles by the tree outside the station for dinner. The winter brunch in the second floor space is more fitting to the Cooper Lounge's style, says Cordell.
The menu includes snacks ($11 to $20) and cocktails ($14 to $18), as well as bottomless mimosas for $35. The highlight is the shareable brunch boards, which are $20 each and feed two to four people. There are three options: a lox board, which comes with the typical accompaniments to smoked salmon; the Early Bird board, with waffles, fruit, bacon and sausage; and the parfait board, with fruit, Greek yogurt, granola and cinnamon blinis. "Our menu isn't built with entrees, but sharable items," notes Cordell, who helped develop the breakfast boards with Union Station executive chef Justin Burdick.
The Cooper Lounge is testing a brunch menu through the holiday, and is considering bringing brunch back in the new year.
The Cooper Lounge
The selection of breakfast snacks includes classics — some straight up, like shrimp cocktail with horseradish and lemon, and others with a twist, like the deviled eggs with shaved truffle and bacon dijonnaise.
The most intriguing menu item is cinnamon smoked burrata, which is served with roasted beets, arugula, pistachios, goat cheese and pomegranate. The cheese is encased in glass with the smoke from a cinnamon stick; at the table, the glass dome is lifted and the sweet smoke released.
The lounge is serving four brunch specific cocktails: an apple-and-spice hot toddy, an espresso martini, a Bloody Mary and a pumpkin-spiked cold brew. The mimosa comes with orange, pineapple, cranberry or grapefruit juice.
There are only three weekends left to try this seasonal special, so make a reservation on Tock
and dig in.
The Cooper Lounge is located inside Union Station at 1701 Wynkoop Street and will be serving winter brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through December 24. Its regular hours are 4 p.m. to midnight daily. For more information, visit cooperlounge.com.