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.
Seasoned cook Jose Aparicio, affectionately known as Chef Pepito, puts his more than 20 years experience to use preparing authentic Peruvian dishes with an American twist, cooking inside a sleek, brightly colored eatery decked out with rustic wrought-iron chandeliers. He marinates his classic ceviche’s halibut in lime before mingling it with corn, potatoes, red onion, and cilantro, as well as sizzles up heartier entrees such as tacu tacu—bean cakes and brown rice topped with a quintessential Peruvian seafood sauce. He also riffs on classic Peruvian food with mushroom ceviche and spiced filet mignon with crunchy potatoes.
Behind the bar, which is inlaid with exposed brick, drink mavens craft Peruvian cocktails, such as pisco sours and the Mosquito, a variation of the mojito that’s amped up with Cointreau and fruit juices before being swatted, not stirred.
Every aspect of Next Door Lounge is designed with one goal in mind: helping patrons unwind. Craft beers complement Next Door’s menu of pub food classics, such as juicy Angus beef burgers and wings doused in fiery atomic sauce. As tunes play from the jukebox, the night’s biggest games and most crucial advertisements are shown on a 10'x6' television screen. Other matches unfold in-house, from tests of true aim on the beer pong table to careful stacking sessions with the bar’s giant Jenga set. Evenings at Next Door Lounge also pack plenty of live entertainment, including bingo and open mic nights.
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.
Pizza Public’s dining area takes on two different looks during any given business day: it’s a family-oriented "craft" pizzeria by day and turns into a full lounge and bar at night. Amid soft lights and flat-screen TVs, daytime diners and families nibble on house pizzas fresh from the kitchen that can be decked out in traditional pepperoni or more daring toppings such as goat cheese or mango. When the sun goes down, the eatery’s bar comes to life as patrons sip on cocktails or a large selection of Colorado craft beers. The full menu is available all day, with gluten-free options for all pizzas and a tapas list that includes bruschetta and the eatery’s inventive prosciutto puffers.