Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, in Denver, recently named one of the 100 Hottest Restaurants in America by OpenTable diners, defies most attempts at categorization. It is a restaurant and a bar first, but most nights of the week it doubles as a live music venue. When there’s no music, you may see a major sports game projected onto the space’s 22-foot screen.
To add another layer of intrigue, the restaurant is housed in a historic Victorian building from the 1890s with a sordid history: over the years, it’s been used as a bordello, an adult video store, and a peep show. As chef-owner Justin Cucci explains, he saw in the space the perfect opportunity to marry food, music, and sex in one experience.
“Normally you listen to music, and everything else is a third-hand experience: shitty beer, mediocre food, it smells,” he says. “I wanted to do something like the old-school jazz and supper clubs where you could go out on a date and experience some live music but also have great service, hospitality, and food. You can start here, and you can end here.”
We asked Justin all about the unique experience at Ophelia’s and how he delivers on expectations for his many diverse guests. Here’s how he pulls it off. Continue Reading