Jake Soffes knows how to build a bar. He has a specific vibe in mind, and it's not that of a dark and dingy dive or a shoulder-to-shoulder nightclub. His first two efforts, Hudson Hill in Capitol Hill and Lady Jane in LoHi, offer an atmosphere that's calm and sophisticated, where the warm glow of Edison bulbs plays off natural wood and leather surfaces, and where an espresso drink feels just as appropriate as a signature cocktail.
Like these two, Soffes's newest bar, The Wild, feels casual and airy, polished and mature — but never cold or uninviting. The Wild takes over a former office space at 1660 Wynkoop Street, in a set-back courtyard right across the street from Union Station. The owner took the name from Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are; he says it's because the bar feels like a secret place a few steps removed from the noise and pressure of downtown.
The Wild resembles its siblings thanks to interior design from Unum Collaborative. Triangles and long, straight lines — at the bar, the banquettes and seating nooks — break up the space, allowing intimacy when it's wanted and camaraderie when it's allowed (mingling with strangers, for now, is not encouraged). New French doors look out onto the courtyard, offering a northern exposure that always feels like late afternoon — like a long happy hour from morning until night arrives. Wall art and houseplants add to the cafe style.
If morning's your thing, you can get coffee along with pastries, breakfast burritos, yogurt and granola starting at 8 a.m. Soffes says the Wild is perfect for a breakfast meeting, or you can come later for drinks and an assortment of nibbles that lean toward the charcuterie end of the bar-food spectrum. In addition to the kinds of cocktails found at his other two bars, the owner has added a list of about fifty wines by the bottle ranging from $40 to $150 — a nod to guests who will likely be coming and going from the neighborhood's range of top-caliber restaurants.
Inside, the Wild is about the same size as Hudson Hill; outside, a 900-square-foot patio is being built in the courtyard. When finished, it will have even more of a "secret garden" ambience — where the wild things might just kick up their furry paws and enjoy a refreshing spring cocktail.
The Wild is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The website is currently under construction, but more details can be found on the bar's Instagram page.
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