Set to open in July, a new Denver bar called Pony Up is specializing in classic cocktails and variations on the French dip sandwich. Partners Angela Neri and Sheamus Feeley are transforming their new space at 1808 Blake Street. It was previously home to The 9th Door Downtown, which closed at the end of April.
“So many spots are closed in the bridge time between lunch and dinner, or don’t have late-night availability, and we want to help fill that gap,” Neri said of her new bar in a press release. “If you’re wondering if we’re open, we probably are.” Pony Up will be a casual cocktail bar serving food and drinks from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Customers could order a classic cocktail or, just as easily, a shot of Buffalo Trace and a Montucky Cold Snack, Neri says.
She and Feeley are both Hillstone vets now starting their own Denver restaurant group. They’re bringing in Suzanne Navarro from tiki bar Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago to manage Pony Up’s bar program. Feeley will oversee the sandwich-heavy food menu, with French dips coming in traditional, Vietnamese, Mexican, vegetarian, and other variations (see melted gruyere or pho dip or carnitas or pecan wood-smoked mushrooms).
“We wanted to be a little differentiated, and selfishly, we all really love French dips,” Feeley said. A 26-year industry veteran, Feeley grew up eating one of the original French dips at Philippe’s in Los Angeles. While visiting family, his dad would take him there before a game at Dodger Stadium. Since then, the chef has spent years working in fine dining, but he thinks it’s time now — for him and Denver’s Ballpark neighborhood — to have an approachable, all-day sandwich destination. “This is where I started as a cook when I moved out from Arkansas in ‘98,” Feeley said of Denver. “It really is my favorite place on the planet.”
For a taste of the dips and cocktails, Pony Up is hosting a pop-up at Old Major from 6 to 9 p.m. on June 5. Reservations can be made via email: email@example.com.