Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox
The creators of Ophelia’s Electic Soapbox are well known for their amazing transformative powers and their uncanny ability to find venues with long and interesting histories.
You may recognize the name Justin Cucci from the amazing Denver eatery Linger (which used to be a mortuary) and Root Down (which used to be a garage). Finding out the history of a location and then integrating it into the new location’s soul is part of how these restauranteurs weave their magic.
Ophelia’s Denver is the newest example of their imagination. The location on 20th street has a long history of ill repute. The building has housed a Peep Show complex, an adult book store, and a brothel. When you enter the front door today you are greeted by a huge photograph showing the Peep Show entrance and an advertisement for hotels upstairs. We can guess what happened up there.
Today the building tempts it’s visitors with delicious cocktails, culinary treats, and entertainment. Although the entertainment does do a tip of it’s hat to the themes of the past. On the night of our visit Ophelia’s was treating it’s audience to a french speaking musical group followed by a true burlesque show. The crowd loved it.
Ophelia’s is set up with a huge bar on the front of the building with open windows to 20th street. The back half of the space is a walkway of tables that look down on an open stage below. That’s right, the musical features take place on the basement level with everyone on the first floor set up for a spectacular view. While you enjoy the show you can order from a number of inspired small plates, which we strongly recommend you try family style for sharing.
We loved everything we sampled. Favorite drink of the night was the “Sex Machine” which seems an homage to the history of the establishment and integrates tequila and spice deliciously. For small plates we tried the duck wings, dry rubbed ribs, Spring Cheese Incident, plantains, and an amazing pigs in a blanket plate. We loved every dish.
The key is to get a reservation at a table with a view and to be there when the main show kicks off so make sure to call and find out what is happening. We sat down around 7:30 and got a chance to enjoy the musical entertainment before the main act kicked off.
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