4

Vinue Food and Wine Bar opens in Cherry Creek

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

For 25 years, Jorge Alonso was a partner in Grupo Anderson's, the Mexican restaurant conglomerate that owns Señor Frog's, which, if you didn't know already, is where tourists who trot off to the resort towns in Mexico go to get drunk, hook up and pass out -- usually in that order.

Alonso retired from the restaurant group -- Mexico's largest -- two years ago, and moved to Denver in 2009 to uncork a new wine bar that is nothing, thank god, like Señor Frog's. "My best friend lives in Denver, so I visited here often, and I wanted to open some concepts of my own," and Denver, says Alonso, was the ideal city in which to launch that concept: Vinue Food and Wine Bar, which opened in Cherry Creek North on Friday.

"Denver has really grown up with regard to high-end restaurants, and the timing was perfect for what we wanted to do, especially since Cherry Creek didn't have a wine bar," explains Alonso, who runs Vinue with his business partner and Denver native, Rebecca Austin.

The lounge, which resides above Machete, a rollicking Mexican joint with a rocking patio scene, is the exact opposite of its downstairs neighbor: Flamboyantly elegant with its cream-hued leather chairs and sofas, crystal light fixtures, magenta velvet and backdrop of vintage black wallpaper, the surroundings are distinctly extravagant. And there's wine, port and champagne at ever turn, the bottles propped behind glass facades, all of which are dispensed in portion-controlled pours using the Enomatic wine system. "Guests can charge however much they'd like, we give them a card, and they can walk around, taste wines and just have fun," says Alonso, adding that the "beauty of it all is that you can taste a $300 wine without having to buy the whole bottle" -- although there's nothing stopping you from doing just that. And the wines, of which there are 58, plus dessert wines and ports, sparklings and Champagne, span the globe. "You name it -- we have wines from all over the world, and they range from $2.75 to $19 for one-and-a-half ounces, depending upon the wine, "he notes. But since man (or woman) can't live by wine alone, Vinue also serves small plates, charcuterie, flatbreads and desserts. Alonso hired Kevin King, who cooked at a Denver Marriott, to spearhead the kitchen. "He's a Johnson & Wales graduate, and he comes to us with a lot of really good experience," says Alonso, who describes the food as "grown up world cuisine."

Alonso says the wine and food bar will switch out the wine selections once a month, "depending upon what's in season and what's moving," and he's also planning to host thematic wine-and-food dinners in the future. "We'll have an Italian night, for example, with all Italian wines and food, so people can get a taste of what it feels like to actually take a trip there," he explains.

Vinue is open Sunday through Wednesday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to midnight. Call 720-287-1156 for info.

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.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.