Colorado Architects Arch11 Design Hip New Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Bar and Restaurant in Denver’s Emerging Prospect Park Neighborhood

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Award-winning residential and commercial architecture firm Arch11 serves up a stylish design for Denver’s newest whiskey joint, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. The new bar and restaurant, combining a nostalgic look back to the classic bar atmosphere with a stylish modern twist, is the latest in a spate of successful hospitality architecture projects for the Denver and Boulder, Colo.-based architects.

Arch11’s design for Whiskey Tango Foxtrot in Denver’s Prospect Park neighborhood lights up the night. (Photo Credit: Larry Sykes, Arch11)

Arch11 has set the stage for the next classic neighborhood bar with the recently opened Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

Rowdy watering holes crowded Denver’s dusty streets before Prohibition’s lofty ideals took hold in 1916. Until the infamous ban on alcohol was repealed in 1933, legions of entrepreneurs illicitly made and sold homemade booze, smuggling whiskey across state lines. Colorado architecture firm Arch11 has designed the new Whiskey Tango Foxtrot bar and restaurant in Denver’s emerging Prospect Park neighborhood as an ode to that era’s clandestine activities – with a decidedly modern twist for the area’s youthful demographic. The whiskey joint is the latest in a spate of successful bar and restaurant designs for award-winning Boulder and Denver-based Arch11, which has been building a reputation for creating hip new-American drinking and dining experiences in the Denver and Boulder metro areas.

Known for its stylish approach to hospitality architecture, Arch11 has designed a number of successful Denver and Boulder restaurants and bars, including Jax, Lola, Oak on Fourteenth, and the Bitter Bar. The talented team has been kept busy during a restaurant boom so significant that more than 40 restaurants opened in Denver over the summer in the month of July alone. The “thrilling evolution” represents a transition where “more informal eateries are taking notes from white-tablecloth restaurants to offer service attuned to diners’ needs, carefully procured ingredients, and dishes that suggest fine dining without the sky-high prices or grandiosity,” according to 5280 magazine’s Amanda Faison in the October 2014 feature “25 Best Restaurants” – a list that includes Arch11-designed Oak on Fourteenth.

Additional restaurant architecture projects currently in the pipeline for Arch11 will span the culinary globe, including a Nuevo Mexican taco bar in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood and an oyster/seafood concept in the city’s tony Cherry Creek. In between these cultured concepts are plans for a juice bar in a repurposed Boulder service station to complement the micro-juice trend.

In the meantime, Arch11 has set the stage for the next classic neighborhood bar with the recently opened Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Located in an area near Coors Field where industrial loft conversions and high-density new-builds dominate, Arch11 was part of a collaborative team―assembled by the Tavern Hospitality Group―that envisioned “a timeless bar atmosphere that would be the social hub of the neighborhood,” explains Arch11 principal and lead architect on the project Ken Andrews. “This is the place where well made, old-school cocktails are served and people might linger at the bar for hours,” he adds.

If the old-school vibe conjures images of smoke-laden air, sticky vinyl seats and sagging ceiling tiles, think again. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’s earthy palette of concrete, steel, and wood―highlighted with warm washes of soft golden light―sets a sociable tone with a splash of sophistication. And, at 3,200 sq. ft., the 1930s former bag factory offers an intimate drinking and dining experience (and a spacious roof-top deck) that distinguishes it from the ever-popular expansive craft beer halls populating the city.

Up front, overlooking a street-side patio, a long curving peninsula bar welcomes patrons with its richly textured pyramidal concrete surface that modulates under the glow of LEDs concealed under the counter. “We purposely wanted people to sit and discover the details over time,” says Andrews. Above, an undulating stainless steel soffit with a dusky blue patina delineates the bar area and the dining area beyond. The soffit over the front bar does double duty as storage for some of WTF’s 90 varieties of whiskey. The amber-hued bottles and the muscular Perlick stainless beer taps are the centerpieces of the back bar design.

For the booths and banquettes, covered in a vivid Wedgewood-blue fabric, Arch11 borrowed language from Mies van der Rohe’s iconic 1929 Barcelona chair by adding button tufting at the seat back cushions. Minimal, yet elegant details like this one elevate the atmosphere beyond the ordinary drinking establishment while introducing a subtle air of nostalgia. Banner Media conceived of the wall-applied photo murals of Denver in the 1930s and ‘40s which add to the narrative. Even the ubiquitous TVs fade into the background with their own graphic display of historic photos and menu items.

A floor-to-ceiling wall comprised of staggered wood slats (a riff on barrel staves) and Edison-style bulbs in exposed socket pendants provide a homey, vintage feel while screening the industrial stair to the upper level open-air bar. Reclaimed oak table tops, comfy stools and a second well-stocked bar welcome rooftop revelers. Strings of bistro lights, hung between steel columns, create a festive party atmosphere.

“My goal was to have an atmosphere that was unique, like Prospect Park, and that spoke to the history of the area. I think Arch11 did a great job fulfilling that vision,” says Tavern Hospitality Group owner and CEO Frank Schultz.

About Arch11:
Founded in 1993 and with offices in Boulder and Denver, Colo., Arch11 has gained recognition for projects ranging from exceptional residences to institutional planning, mixed-use development and product design. Arch11 has 30 combined years of green building technology leadership. The staff’s unusual level of hands-on experience ranges from boat building to furniture making, contributing to its reputation for commitment to craft, detailing and design integrity. For additional information visit http://www.arch11.com.

Contact: Sarah Goldblatt, WordenGroup Public Relations, sarah(at)wordenpr(dot)com, 303.777.7667

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