Almost coordinated with Whale Week 2013, a new champagne lounge and raw sushi bar will open in Denver tonight. Epernay Lounge, located at 1080 14 Street in Denver's Theater District, aims to be lot of things to a lot of people: a bar, a place to get an interesting dinner, and a venue for upscale bottle service while listening to a DJ spin on weekends. Named after a commune in the Champagne region of France best known as the principal "entrepôt" for champagne wines, Epernay Lounge is the creation of Jay Chadron who owns Opal, in collaboration with two partners uninvolved in the operations.
The space was designed by Dave Schaich of Shike Design, whose work includes Linger and Corner House. The room opens into massive 30 seat bar that carries, aside from countless spirits, over 60 kinds of champagne and many kinds of sake, likely the largest lists of both of those beverages in Denver. To the right of the bar are is a big lounge, boasting spacious and private high leather booths, black and white, and a space for DJ music. This prime area for bottle service will be curtained off on nights that are not too busy.
To the left of the bar is a small but neatly designed 45 person dining area where guests will be able to enjoy contemporary takes on classic sushi offerings, as well as globally-inspired sous vide dishes. The small kitchen has no hood, frier, or big stoves, but it is equipped with several induction burners and Sous Vide Supreme machines that chefs Duy Pham and Michael Degenhart will use to prepare dishes like vanilla butter-poached lobster tail, NY striploin served with baby bacon potatoes, or and scallop carpaccio.
Starting on February 4, Epernay will be open for dinner service Tuesday through Sunday night starting at 4 p.m. Tonight, the space will only be open to the public after 10 p.m., following a private party.
Epernay Gallery [Photography by Adam Larkey]