Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Union Station, a new coffee shop and cocktail lounge offers a place for “wild things to roam,” according to its owner.
Jake Soffes opened The Wild last week at 1660 Wynkoop St., in a former office space in a set-back courtyard.
“The Wild is in reference to ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ by Maurice Sendak, and the thought process behind that was we wanted to create an enclave and special place where people can step outside the chaos of downtown,” the restaurateur said.
The Wild serves coffee from MiddleState Coffee, fresh bread from Rebel Bread and pastries from Reunion Bakery starting at 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday. In the evenings until 11 p.m., customers can snack on a charcuterie board and choose from a collection of cocktails and wine bottles ranging from $35 to $150.
This is Soffes’ third neighborhood concept. He opened Hudson Hill, another sleek coffee and cocktail spot, in Cap Hill in 2016, and a California-inspired cocktail lounge called Lady Jane in LoHi in 2018.
“Capitol Hill needed a gathering place, and LoHi needed a cocktail bar where people could let their hair down and have fun. Down here, we’re right in the heart of Denver and at this amazing intersection of local and national businesses, massive transit hub, and nice restaurants,” Soffes said. “So, we wanted to embrace the location and offer an all-day concept.”
The restaurateur signed a 10-year lease for the 1,200-square-foot unit in August 2019. Opening took a bit longer than expected due to a long design process and some delays as a result of COVID. An 800-square-foot patio is being added and should be ready next month.
Soffes has hired Unum Collaborative to help design the interior of all three of his concepts. Although he would not disclose how much The Wild cost to renovate, the owner said he was focused on creating a timeless space.
“We tend to stay away from the trends and choose materials and layouts that can be contemporary in the future,” Soffes said. “Everything is made to age gracefully and look just as good after 10 years of service — like a good pair of jeans.”
Throughout the pandemic, Hudson Hill and Lady Jane have been open and closed inconsistently due to changing COVID restrictions, Soffes said. Both have reopened since restrictions on dine-in capacity have lessened from 25 percent to 50 percent over the past couple of months.
The restaurateur said he never expected there to be such a lull in downtown traffic when he originally signed on to open The Wild, but he’s optimistic that customers are ready to be wild.
“It’s been a difficult year, and it’s not ideal to be opening a new business in the hospitality industry,” Soffes said. “But you can sense that increasing level of consumer confidence every time we open our doors.”