You have never had this much fun at school before: School House Kitchen & Libations will open its doors on Tuesday, February 3 with an impressive selection of food and booze and three large areas, plus a rooftop patio, to accommodate various moods and occasions.
Located in Arvada at 5660 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard, in the original (you guessed) school house, the bar and eatery took its past uses to heart and created a space reminiscent of classrooms and hallways and school-related paraphernalia without turning it into a theme park. "Arvada loves its history so we wanted to honor that, give the neigbhborhood a place to enjoy, but not make it too themey either," explained owner Scott Spears.
Spears, an Arvada native, has had his eye on this building for years. Along with family members, he owns and operates, Scrumptious, the ice cream parlor around the corner from School House that has a second location in Longmont. Four years ago, the Spears family put an offer in to buy the school house building, but the deal could not go through. Since then, an outpost of DiCicco's existed in part of the current building. When that failed, Spears tried his luck again and in April 2013 he bought the building.
Since then, the 6,000 square foot of space, plus a basement, have been transformed into a spot that is cozy and captivating, approachable and interesting. A bar area is housed in a high-ceiling-ed room where bottles cover a large wall. There rest 476 kinds of whiskeys, a big focus of this new bar and eatery, most likely among the top 10 largest selections of the brown spirit of any bar in the United States. There are also beers and wine and a full spirit selection from which a variety of craft cocktails are created.
A look around the room reveals the bar top covered in #2 pencils, chemistry symbols on table tops, retrofitted school house chairs that got a second life as bar stools, microscopes, a biology lab human body, and more. There are also five TVs that will play sports events and other popular programming and two other TVs in other parts of the space. The dining room, as well as the upstairs area, complete the schoolhouse-feel of the main room with library-like walls, benches made of school bus seats, portraits of American presidents, and even a Principal's office.
The food at School House is fun and varied. "We didn't want to pigeonhole ourselves into a narrow style," shared Spears. "We have a variety of foods; it's like school, you always learn something, but most things are not particularly adventurous, just solid food that our guests can enjoy." Chef Steven Baker is in charge of the kitchen and his menu, drafted like a multiple choice school test, includes items that range from salads, sandwiches, soups, and burgers, some of them with a modern twist.
School House Kitchen and Libations, managed by restaurant veteran Seth Murty, will be open every day for lunch and dinner. When you go, peek at the fun bathroom chalkboards and have fun with the scantron beer menu. The address: