Baur's Restaurant opened in April 2015, connecting Denver's historic past to its thriving contemporary restaurant scene — Photo courtesy of Baur's Restaurant and Listening Lounge
Denver architects, designers and entrepreneurs are creating a legacy of renovating and preserving the city’s historic buildings, repurposing many of them for an entirely new life in the 21st century. Now, the Baur’s Building at 1512 Curtis St. can be added to that list.
The building dates back to the late 1800s, when the O.P. Baur Confectionary Company started making its much-loved candy there. The building has housed other entities since Baur’s finally closed its doors in 1970, but the newest tenant is a perfect fit for the building, which is both a Denver landmark and an entry on the National Register of Historic Places.
With a firm nod to the past in its name and a vision that's definitively contemporary in terms of its menu and multi-experience focus, Baur’s comes onto Denver’s dynamic restaurant scene ready to make a statement.
Baur's Kolsch is the restaurant's own private-label beer, made by local craft brewery Brews on Broadway — Photo courtesy of Baur's Restaurant and Listening Lounge
A restaurant, bar and “listening lounge,” Baur’s fills multiple niches in the downtown corridor and appeals to patrons of any generation.
The restaurant – helmed by Chef Dory Ford – offers California cuisine “with an elegant edge.” There’s an emphasis on local ingredients when possible, along with fresh, sustainable seafood. And the goal is to offer a nose-to-tail charcuterie program, as well.
Dishes range from delicate to hearty – with steamed PEI mussels to steak frites and venison schnitzel on the dinner menu, then beet carpaccio to lobster deviled eggs and a bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato, fresh mozzarella and hard-boiled egg sandwich on the lunch menu.
The restaurant's wine list includes more than 200 labels to choose from and a full wine-by-the-glass program, plus wines by the half glass for those times when just a little is just right — Photo courtesy of Baur's Restaurant and Listening Lounge
Baur’s wine list includes more than 200 labels to choose from, and there's a lot on offer for diners who prefer wine by the glass. There are also several French Champagnes and a list of more than 15 sherries, ports and other dessert wines.
Oenophiles should mark their calendars for Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., when Baur’s offers its cheeky yet serious Three Blind Wines competition. Each week, a $20 flight of three mystery wines will be offered along with a riddle.
Participants can try to guess the story behind the trio and win a voucher to play free on a Tuesday in the future.
Lamb meatballs with grilled zucchini, eggplant, couscous, piquillos and tzatziki is one of the creative dishes on the lunch menu — Photo courtesy of Baur's Restaurant and Listening Lounge
For Denverites with not quite as much time on their hands, Baur’s has another innovative program: the 15/15 lunch special. The goal is to get guests in and out in 15 minutes for $15. The lunch includes a protein, salad, pasta, vegetable, side dish and beverage to eat in or takeout.
Of course, there’s a full lunch menu for those who want to dine in a more leisurely fashion. The restaurant is open for lunch weekdays; brunch on Saturday and Sunday; and for happy hour, dinner and late-night dining seven days a week.
Catherine Russell is among the eclectic performers who have played at Baur's Listening Lounge. Others include Natalie Cressman, Commander Cody and AJ Croce. — Photo courtesy of Baur's Restaurant and Listening Lounge
The sophisticated, intimate Baur's Listening Lounge is unlike any other music venue in the city. Music-lovers here come for an “acoustical experience,” one that draws musicians from all genres – jazz, bluegrass, classical, folk, blues, pop, chamber and more.
Lounge patrons have a nice selection of drinks to choose from, and they can order food from the restaurant’s menus, as well.
Back in 2006, then-mayor John Hickenlooper declared Baur’s Day as a historic day in Denver. This year, the new restaurant amped up the celebration by unveiling its new ice cream line and giving away free mini ice cream cones, both a salute to Baur’s Confectionary Company, which made ice cream on this same spot a century ago and was known for its generosity in the community.
As the old saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Long ago, the Baur's candy company made ice cream in this same building, and sometimes gave it away to grateful kids, too — Photo courtesy of Denver Public Library