The Arizona-based Upward Projects restaurant group makes a point of opening each new location of its Postino Wine Cafe chain inside a historic urban space. But Upward Projects has never previously opened a Postino in a building as old as the one at 145 North Broadway in Baker, where the chain’s second Denver wine bar will officially begin serving wine and the chain’s beloved bruschetta on Monday.
The building, which was constructed in 1895, is so old that Upward Projects CEO Lauren Bailey says no one has been able to find documentation of what the space was used for in its early years. What is known, however, is that the building was home to the Purity Creamery Co. from 1942 to 1967. Next came a string of bars, the last of which was the iconic gay bar Compound Basix that closed in 2018 after a 25-year run.
Fans of the latter tenant likely won’t be able to recognize the space when they step into Postino Broadway for a glass (or several) of wine. The changes begin with the formerly red and gray Broadway-facing exterior, which has been painted black and now sports several large windows.
The front of the interior, meanwhile, is now home to a small lounge where customers can cozy up in a cushioned armchair and gaze out on Broadway. In the back is a large bar, where another big pair of windows opens up to a spacious and plant-filled outdoor patio.
But even as the new Postino is the latest entrant to add a shinier sheen to a block that is continuing to stray from its grittier past, the new wine cafe still contains some artful nods to the history of the space and street it occupies.
Those touches include a wall lined with colorful concert handbills that are a nod to Broadway’s bar music scene, a disco bar near the bathrooms, and a large, multi-colored vintage Murano glass fixture that hangs over the lounge and lends a certain psychedelic flair to the space.
“We are not trying to make the neighborhood fit us but to fit into the neighborhood,” Bailey said of Postino’s approach to designing the space.
But while the new location offers a different look and feel than Postino’s original Denver location in LoHi, it will offer the same food menu and varied selection of wines that have made that first outpost so popular.
The focus of the menu is snacks like sweet potato wedges, chicken skewers, and that popular bruschetta, which come with a variety of toppings like brie and almond spread or smoked salmon and pesto (diners can sample four varieties in each order). A selection of soups, salads, and paninis rounds out the menu.
Then there is the wine lineup, which will change multiple times annually but consist of 30 by-the-glass options and an additional 40 varieties sold only by the bottle, with 50-75 percent of the wines offered at any given time available only at Postino.
The new Broadway Postino will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday, 9 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
Read the full announcement: