Chef, owner, and visionary Justin Cucci and his Edible Beats restaurant group have taken the Mile High food scene by storm – first opening Root Down in an old gas station, next Linger in a former mortuary, and most recently Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox in a bygone brothel. Since the eclectic eatery opened its doors last spring, it has become one of the city’s hottest night spots, brunch haunts, and so much more. If you haven’t experienced this supremely unique restaurant in Denver, you should definitely add it to your short list.
Ophelia's Electric Soapbox opened last April in the historic Airedale building on 20th between Larimer and Lawrence and has since earned its spot as on of Denver's top restaurants and hangouts for locals and tourists alike.
The Airedale building opened in 1889 as a hotel and saloon and has served as home to a variety of nefarious business ventures over the decades, such as flophouses, adult stores, and peep shows.
Va Va Voom!
The landmark building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999, while it was Diamond Lil's (an adult bookstore), and it has undergone an awe-inspiring transformation since those days to become the incomparable Ophelia's.
The attention to detail, elegantly risque decor, and multi-level design of the space, adds to the alluring ambiance of this one-of-a-kind establishment best described as an amalgamation of supper club, music venue, and dance hall.
You can't help but gravitate toward the beautifully backlit bar downstairs emanating the green glow of Jägermeister bottles Cucci acquired from his father's liquor store...and which were reportedly all imbibed by one person. (Yikes!)
What I like to call the "analog wall" behind the stage is nothing short of pure genius. (I want one.)
"A well-lit path to musical haberdashery," connects the levels, allowing you to float freely from one sleek scene to the next without missing a beat. Literally.
No matter where you're perched at Ophelia's, you'll have a full view of the action, and there's certainly plenty of it, including live music, DJs, and the infamous Sunday Peepshow hosted by Vivienne VaVoom.
You can reserve tables ahead of time, and it's strongly suggested, as the place tends to have a packed house on most nights, especially on the weekends. P.S. That screen on the left is nothing more than a 25-foot projection TV, providing optimal viewing pleasure.
The bar and seating areas upstairs scream vintage boudoir and are brimming with crushed velour couches, black velvet art pieces, and a distinctly feminine and sexual vibe.
And the bar itself is something truly remarkable to behold, not to mention the craft cocktails are superb and boast names that pay homage to the building's backstory. If it's called Diamond Lil's, Lust Tycoon, or Electric City, you know it's seductively good!
The good news is, the food is as equally divine as the drinks, focusing on a veg-centric seasonal menu featuring items with influences that range from Spanish to South African to American Southern.
...bomb brunches with bottomless mimosas...
...and their famed Brothel Burger are just a few of the many delicious specialties for which Ophelia's has been heralded.
And let's not forget their fabulous open-air patio, if you're looking for an escape from the shenanigans indoors.
Check Ophelia's website for
, which include a wide-range of acts from virtually every music genre.
But most importantly, be prepared to have a debaucherous and dance-filled good time!