BYOB clubhouse on tap for former brewery in Sunnyside

home page sharon kim

Birch Road owners and longtime friends Kim Bosse, left, and Sharon Provins as they look now, and when they were growing up together in Chicago. (Courtesy of Birch Road)

Kim Bosse and Sharon Provins were sharing a bottle of wine in Bosse’s kitchen one night, craving a place to go out that felt more comfortable than a bar.

“We came up with the idea of having a membership clubhouse, where people can BYOB. There’s no bartenders or TVs, and it’s conversational,” Bosse said. “You can talk to each other, and hear each other, and you don’t have to fight for a seat or the bartender’s attention.”

In 2014, the longtime friends decided to make their vision happen, opening a place called Birch Road in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. The business is named after the Chicago street where Bosse and Provins grew up.

In 2016, the pair opened a second location in Chicago’s Roscoe Village. In 2019, they added one in Seattle.

Denver is next.

BYOB clubhouse opening in Denver

Birch Road is a BYOB club with fingerprint access. (Photos courtesy of Nathanael Filbert)

Bosse and Provins  in September leased 3,300 square feet at 3845 Lipan St. in the Sunnyside neighborhood, where Factotum Brewhouse previously operated. They plan to open in the spring.

Birch Road is a “neighborhood clubhouse,” according to the founders, where members pay $105 a month for daily fingerprint access from 8 a.m. to midnight to the member lounge. Each member can bring two guests at a time, and gets a personal locker in a temperature-controlled bottle storage cellar.

Members can also attend or host group events at the clubhouse, some of which — like tasting nights featuring local breweries or wineries — will be organized by the business.

“For a member, it’s an alternative to meeting at a bar, coffee shop or restaurant. So, whether you’re meeting a client or family or friends from out of town, you can bring them by the club,” Bosse said. “We don’t have a restaurant or golf course, like a country club. If we could compare it to anything it’s like a coworking space, but way more fun.”

Each Birch Road has a few hundred members, Bosse said. The business has a limit on member count specific to each location, although Bosse didn’t specify them, saying only that none of the locations have hit their max.

Cellar Credit Nathanael Filbert scaled

Each Birch Road location has a temperature-controlled wine cellar.

Unlike some members clubs in Denver — like Dick Monfort’s new members-only club in McGregor Square and the new Clayton Members Club & Hotel in Cherry Creek — there’s no application process for those seeking to join, or need to get a referral from an existing member. Anyone who wants to join can.

“A member should always be able to come in and have a seat. We got into this because we weren’t enjoying crowded bar spaces,” Bosse said. “Our members are an incredibly diverse group from all walks of life. We range from ages 23 to 75.”

Bosse fell in love with Denver after visiting her cousin during the pandemic. She hadn’t considered expanding to Denver before but, when the clubhouses reopened after the shutdown and began thriving again, it was at the top of her list.

“Denver has a really strong bevvy culture, which means there’s a respect for craft cocktails, and a strong distillery and brewery culture,” Bosse said. “Bevvies are people who care as much about what’s in their glass as what’s on their plate, and that was something I definitely saw in Denver … A big part of our member programming revolves around small-batch spirits or family-run wineries.”

The founders originally passed on the brewery space when they first saw it earlier this year; they were looking for a more turnkey operation in areas like Wash Park, but didn’t find anything available.

Space Credit Nathanael Filbert

Birch Road has cafe seating, lounge seating, a dining room and a tasting bar area.

After visiting Sunnyside and its surrounding neighborhoods, like the Highlands, Bosse decided the spot would work.

Broker Michelle Colvin with MHLRE represented the business in lease negotiations. Bosse and Provins hired architect Jennifer Jaffke with Innovative Design Office to design the space, and Lauren O’Neill with Scout Interiors to decorate the clubhouse.

Birch Road’s Denver space will have lounge seating, cafe seating, a dining room and a tasting bar area. Spaces will be available for rent at an additional price for private events.

When they first launched in 2014, Bosse said, it was hard to educate consumers on the clubhouse concept, and it took a while for people to get it.

“Most people just wondered why they wouldn’t just stay at home or go to a bar,” she said.

“Everybody’s habits have shifted more toward what we’ve been doing, and it’s been really good for the club,” Bosse said.

BYOB clubhouse opening in Denver

home page sharon kim

Birch Road owners and longtime friends Kim Bosse, left, and Sharon Provins as they look now, and when they were growing up together in Chicago. (Courtesy of Birch Road)

“There’s no bartenders or TVs, and it’s conversational,” said a Birch Road co-founder. “You can talk to each other, and hear each other.”

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