At African Grill and Bar, owners Osei and Adowa Ford-Wuo strive to make everyone’s African dining experience fun and unintimidating, personally attending to guests and making suggestions from the menu of beef and goat stews, fried snapper and grouper, and fragrantly spiced spinach and vegetable plates. Unlike traditional American starches such as boring white bread and canisters of uncooked biscuit dough, even the carbs of West African cuisine lend distinct flavors to plates. Fried plantains, ground cassava, and tender spheroids of pounded yam accompany dishes, which range from groundnut soups to chicken curries. Fried-rice pilafs pop with the vibrant colors of spinach, tomato, and spices, complementing the décor of dark red tables, wicker chairs, leafy plants, and walls bedecked with African woodworking and weaving.
At Beauty Bar, purple-and-white checkered floors, a disco ball, and other retro-themed decor transports cocktail hour back to the ’70s. While guests sip on martinis and other cocktails, glamour technicians beautify nails with express manicures, topping nails with long-lasting polish instead of melted-down fishing lures. The vintage saloon stays open until 2 a.m., allowing guests to flaunt their freshly dazzling nails on the dance floor during DJ nights like the hip-hop ladies night or Friday dance parties.
Spill Lounge brings together the best of two worlds: the feel of the downtown lounge scene and the coziness of a neighborhood bar. Taking up three levels, the lounge’s second floor is reserved for private parties up to 100 and the rooftop patio gives up to 150 people mountain views, a soothing waterfall, and three private cabanas. The bar comes into the picture with bottles and glass slippers filled with vodka, whiskey, rum, and tequila that pair well with the kitchen's seasonal menu of shareable American-style eats.
Amid the lively Kinga’s Lounge, owner Kinga Klek regularly rolls up her sleeves and tends to the full bar and kitchen, working beside a family of staffers as they construct traditional Polish cuisine from scratch. The chefs turn fresh ingredients into authentic dishes, such as stews, schnitzels, and pierogis, while bartenders help diners navigate the staggering menu of Polish beers and vodkas.
Inside the lounge’s dining area, a full-wall mural interrupts a red-and-white color scheme as light from chandeliers dapples ornate wood furnishings. Leather armchairs cradle patrons upstairs, who can carry their merrymaking downstairs to Kinga’s Basement, an equally spirited watering hole where exposed-brick walls stand sentinel under arches and pillars. Festivities spill over to the outdoor patio, enclosed by verdant foliage and strings of lights that crisscross the al fresco space in a foolish attempt to make their way east to become one with the sun. A full schedule of events, including a live DJ on weekends and a comedy showcase on Sunday evenings, keeps revelers reveling.
Every year since 2007, Jazz@Jack’s has won first or second prize in the Denver CitvVoter category of Best Live Music Venue due to its nightly soundtrack of live jazz, blues, and funk. The watering hole's co-owners and house band Dotsero regularly perform their acclaimed brand of contemporary jazz tunes, which floated weightlessly out of the speakers of the space shuttle Endeavor during a 187-orbit flight around Earth. A full calendar of local and national acts lures patrons into the sleek space, where walls of windows reveal panoramic views of the surrounding buildings' toupees. A vibrant hand-painted mural depicting musicians interrupts warm orange walls as the stage's bright lights spill onto a black-and-white-checkered dance floor. Tall tables serve as rest stops for dancers to intermittently sip wine and cocktails blended at the full bar, and a spacious patio encourages the sharing of conversations and selections from Jazz@Jack's smattering of classic bar appetizers and desserts.