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The Early Word on Vesper Lounge, Frank Bonanno's Newest Venture

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Vesper Lounge.
Vesper Lounge.

Neighborhood bar Vesper Lounge opened its doors over three months ago, introducing the Capitol Hill neighborhood to cocktails on tap and James Bond-inspired drinks imagined by Adam Hodak, the beverage director for Bonanno Concepts. Some guests had a hard time getting past the Lancer Lounge nostalgia, but after some time (and a few cocktails) passed, it became clear the Vesper Lounge ran a different program and, despite some service flaws, it is actually forming an identity of its own. Here's the early word on Vesper Lounge:

The Good News: Thrillist highlights a few entertainment options: "Use the hand that isn't full of boilermakers and lamb pitas and Bond-inspired cocktails to play this tabletop arcade (Donkey Kong/ Frogger/ Galaga/ Ms Pac-Man), or non-digital games like checkers, Yahtzee, and Jenga, so you won't be the only one feeling like your insides have been pulled out after learning about Lancer Lounge." [Thrillist]

The Bad News: On Foursquare, a review complains about the service: "Fucking terrible place. Came here for the first time, twice the server "forgot" our drinks and we got charged more on our tab. Then, once we tried to correct her she gave us attitude. Walk away. Now." [Foursquare]

The Food News: Westword describes some changes in the kitchen: "The biggest change comes via the kitchen -- and an affordable menu that trumpets Middle Eastern cuisine, including several variations of hummus, pita sandwiches served with fries dusted with Mid East spices, skewers plated with cous cous and tzatziki and a cheeseburger." [Westword]

The Feel News: 5280 evaluates the environment: "Despite outcry that Bonanno might just ruin this local watering hole, Vesper retains the low-key, casual vibe that the Lancer carried forth for more than 45 years." [5280]

The Pricey News: On Yelp, a reviewer thinks it's too expensive: "The bar still has a real divey feel, and doesn't give off an arrogant vibe, but you can definitely tell the clientele has changed. I enjoyed my old fashion both times I went and by the end of the night was buzzed enough to not care about the amount I spent. I would say if you're on a strict budget, you may want to keep walking down the street to Don's. The food looked good, I've not tried it but will be back to indulge." [Yelp]

The Strange News: A Facebook user has weird feelings: "Once I got past the general surreal quality of it still looking a lot like Lancer Lounge, I loved this place." [Facebook]

The Tap News: A Foursquare user raves about her cocktail: "Unsure about cocktails on tap? Do you like a boozy drink? If yes, trust me - you'll like the cocktails on tap. Don't miss the Middle Eastern spiced fries either. So good!" [Foursquare]

The Haunted News: A Yelper is suspicious of ghosts: "Depending on who you talk to, the service is hit or miss. Some of the bartenders are great, others have less than welcoming attitudes. Plus, I think this place is haunted by booze hound ghosts, there is just something in the air that says 'get crazy wasted here'. It was true under previous ownership and it is true today." [Yelp]
— Ashley Mason

· All Vesper Lounge Coverage [EDEN~]
· Vesper Lounge [Facebook]

Vesper Lounge

233 East 7th Avenue, , CO 80203 (720) 328-0314 Visit Website

Vesper Lounge

233 E 7th Ave Denver, CO 80203