Visitors to Fort Collins this holiday season will have a new downtown hotel, restaurant, rooftop bar, and lounge to explore. The Elizabeth Hotel, a Sage and McWhinney concept, plans to open this week in Old Town. Along with it, starting Wednesday, Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market, Sunset rooftop bar, and the Magic Rat lounge will serve meals, snacks, and cocktails and offer day-to-night entertainment.
The Elizabeth fills a lodging gap in downtown Fort Collins; it’s only the second hotel and the biggest yet (164 rooms) to open in Old Town after the boutique Armstrong. As opposed to the Armstrong’s basement jazz lounge, The Elizabeth Hotel’s social center is likely to be its day-to-night Emporium restaurant.
Spanning the ground floor of the hotel, Emporium swings wide in purpose and provides a market, deli counter, coffee shop, ice cream parlor, bar, and restaurant in-one. Sage Restaurant Group co-founder Peter Karpinski says he hopes to attract locals and visitors alike to the open room, by selling Fort Collins’ Peritus Coffee, as well as dry goods, grab-and-go meals, meats and cheeses, and sit-down dinners from mussels to brisket. Seating for around 250 people varies, allowing for those on a coffee break, or quick lunch, happy hour, or a full dinner.
“We want this to be on a short rolodex of places locals are going to on a regular basis,” says Karpinski. Sage Restaurant Group’s Denver projects include the Oxford Hotel’s new Urban Farmer restaurant, The Dairy Block, and Union Station. Nightlife at the new Fort Collins hotel will largely take place between two bars: The Magic Rat, an alley-facing, low-seating live music listening room; and Sunset Lounge (above), a rooftop cocktail and wine bar with a patio overlooking the mountains.