Three years ago, triplets Jill, Jessica and Jennifer Emich bowed out of Boulder's restaurant scene when they sold Trilogy, their 13th Street wine bar; it became the now-closed B-Side Lounge. Since then, the sisters have worked together on several projects: running a catering company called Blissful Sisters, managing the Gold Lake retreat center, and leading workshops and retreats of their own in Colorado and beyond.
But they always planned to return to the restaurant fold.
"We knew it was our eventual goal to have a home back in town again," says Jill. "People kept asking us to come back. We knew we needed it."
So when the massive space at 2027 13th Street -- which had most recently been home to the very short-lived Los Oasis -- became available, the sisters jumped on the lease, creating a restaurant and community gathering spot called Shine, which opened last week.
Jessica Emich is heading the kitchen at the new restaurant, and she's created a board of inexpensive local and organic options that include sandwiches, salads, grass-fed beef burgers and entrees. "The menu is based a little on holistic nutrition," Jill explains. "Jessica has a master's in it, and she takes into consideration digestion, protein content and flavor when making a dish." The entire kitchen is gluten-free, too. "We do get some bread in from a local bakery," says Jill, "but it's prepared in a totally separate room. We have gluten-free bread and buns that we make in-house."
The sisters have paired their menu to a beverage program that includes sustainable, organic and local wine and spirits and beer brewed on site. "We're doing gluten-free beer, herbal beer, IPA, an amber, a lager and a Czech pilsner," Jill says. "But we're still rolling them out. We launched the amber and lager, and we'll have the rest by February 1."
The Emichs have already rolled out some unique drinks. "We're making elixirs and potions," says Jill, explaining that the elixirs are fermented drinks similar to kombucha -- though more potent -- made from a spore that comes from Tibet. "An alchemist in Hawaii is brewing it for us, and we ferment it here in Colorado," she says. "There's a tiny bit of alcohol from the fermentation process." The potions, on the other hand, are completely non-alcoholic and designed by the sisters; they're made from a variety of herbal and floral essences. "We think they'll be fun for people who don't drink," Jill notes.
Beyond the restaurant and bar, the sisters also wanted to give the community a place to gather, and they set up a separate room for events. "The Gathering Place is a completely private room, or you can open it up to the rest of the space," Jill explains. "It has a celebratory, festive vibe, and we host yoga workshops, private events and live music there." For example, there's a free yoga class for Shine staff and other members of the community every Wednesday morning.
So what's next for Shine? "Right now, we're growing into the space," says Jill. "But we may do a daily yoga studio, a marketplace or a product line. Shine is our hub for a lot of other things."
Shine is open daily for lunch, dinner and events. Check the restaurant's website for a schedule and more information.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.