But Mori closed abruptly four years ago, and club king Francois Safieddine bought the spot from the Nisei Veterans Heritage Foundation for a reported $900,000 in 2010. And judging from the construction currently going on there, he's since poured a lot more money into the place, which will open in early 2013 at ViewHouse Eatery, Bar & Rooftop. See also: - Francois Safieddine purchases the former Mori - Lotus Concepts to expand club empire with lease for old Ruth's Chris Steakhouse space - Slide show: Midnight at Chloe
Judging from the image on the website -- an image that's now flashing on the giant display sign on Speer Boulevard outside of the Denver Performing Arts Complex -- the top level of ViewHouse will be an incredible deck/bar with a view of LoDo and nearby Coors Field; below will be two floors of indoor seating, as well as a groundfloor patio with a grassy outdoor area for games.
"Are you ready for a new view?" asks ViewHouse's new Facebook page. "At ViewHouse, we aim to deliver a superior, inclusive experience with a locally rooted vibe and fun energy from our excellent views to our equally excellent food and beverages!"
There's no specific opening date -- yet -- but you can bet those beverages will be flowing by the season opener for the Rockies.
Update: Here are more details on ViewHouse, courtesy the press release we received late yesterday in response to our queries:
Fueled by the energy of one of Denver's most thriving neighborhoods and inspired by Coloradoans' fondness of sports, love of the outdoors and living a healthy life-style as well as all things local, VIEWHOUSE brand offers a casual, comfortable and high energy neighborhood eatery, bar and rooftop with exceptional service and quality food while still remaining competitive in the market.
VIEWHOUSE brand is unparalleled and is best represented as a FUNENERGY concept...
Chef Jose Guerrero brings his culinary vision to VIEWHOUSE with a specific approach: organic when possible, local when available and always a fresh eating experience. His inspiration on this project provides an opportunity for downtown dwellers and visitors to experience exceptional service and food quality while still remaining economically competitive in the market. Denver diners know him best for the fine food he has served in Denver's highest profile restaurants. They include Roy's Cherry Creek, MAO, Vista Grill (Puerto Vallarta) and Pizza Republica.
The VIEWHOUSE menu includes surprising and interesting interpretations of bar fare classics like burgers, the Caesar salad, Patty Melt, Philly Cheese Steak and at the same time introducing innovation freshly prepared, locally grown when possible, creations like the Walnut Apple Salad, Red Bird Farms Roasted Chicken, Lamb Sliders or Hot Iron Seared Salmon - all inspired by different regional cuisines but done the VIEWHOUSE way.
VIEWHOUSE kept one thing in mind when determining the beverage menu - Coloradoans love their craft libations. In addition to a selection of local spirits, VIEWHOUSE'S bar features a Colorado centric selection of tapped beers, plus domestic and imported beers, specialty cocktails and frozen drinks.
One of the signature elements of VIEWHOUSE brand is the height of the venue and the view from the rooftop patio bar. The impressive rooftop patio bar will always be one of the largest in in the Ballpark District Neighborhood, offering unprecedented and unobstructed 360 degree views of mountain and city. The location anchored at 20th and Market Street takes full advantage of Colorado surroundings, giving patio-goers comfortable fireside seating set against the infamous Colorado sky. Indoor and outdoor screens and a variety of bar activities cater to the city's biggest sports fans and casual diners alike.
Interior spaces will portray a vibe through the design of necessity, economical, light and casual, industrial, modern and raw. VIEWHOUSE will meld modern with a sort of rustic industrial feel throughout the downtown urban concept. There will be two dedicated private dining areas for special events. The indoor/outdoor areas include activities for Bocce Ball, Volleyball, Ping Pong and other outdoor games.
VIEWHOUSE Corporation team is comprised of two core principals and they include Brad Manskeas Managing Partner who has over 20 years' experience in the casual eatery industry. Recent projects include Boston's Gourmet Pizza and Sports Bar and Trail Dust Steak House and Francois Safieddine as landlord and financial principal. The scope of this project is a multi-level eatery, bar and rooftop concept - 6500 SF restaurant, 7000 SF rooftop and 7000 SF courtyard. Marketing and operations will be guided by team members from VIEWHOUSE Corporation - a Colorado based company.