Anika Zappe named bar manager of Punch Bowl Social, Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar and Argyll

And Zappe has big ideas for Punch Bowl Social. "I'm really looking forward to doing boozy coffee drinks in the morning, boozy adult milkshakes in the afternoon and, at night, I've got a lake-full of cocktail ideas, most of which will make use Colorado's world-class spirits," she says, revealing, too, that she'll devise some liquid culture drinking games to complement the bona fide games and amusements that Punch Bowl Social plans to make available: marbles, ping ping, video games from the '80s, a giant Jenga and private karaoke rooms -- private being the optimum word here, because, as Thompson points, out, not everyone wants to hear you yodel.

Thompson's big picture outlook for Punch Bowl extends far and wide; within the next ten years, his goal is to open ten nationwide -- and Zappe, he says, will oversee the beverage program at all of them. "Punch Bowl Social is a brand that I've conceptualized to go national, and Anika will train the staffs and concoct city-specific cocktails for each market," says Thompson. "As most people know, I don't drink, so it was vital that I hired someone I could trust implicitly to fit within the philosophy of each concept -- and Anika is that person. She has 100 percent leeway in terms of what she wants to do."

But while Zappe is coming in on the ground up of Punch Bowl Social, the wine, beer and cocktail syllabus at Le Grand, she admits, doesn't need much more than a bit of tweaking. "I'll make a few changes to the wine list and cocktail menu, but I'm not planning to do anything drastic," she says. "There are good people behind the bar here, and I want to stay open to their ideas." And starting in May, you can find Zappe behind the bar at the bistro, where, she says, she'll "get her bartending legs back in swing."

And for his part, Thompson says that Zappe's talents can't be overstated. "She's been on my short list for a very long time, and the gravitas of her personality is the perfect personification of the culture at Punch Bowl. She epitomizes what Punch Bowl is all about -- a craft cocktail and culinary perspective combined with environmental awareness all pulled together within the modern world." says Thompson. "Anika has earned this job. She's going to thrive and really fucking dig it," he concludes.

And Zappe agrees: "The sheer level of challenge and opportunity to be so creative in the next six months to the next several years is so exciting to me, and I love the people I'm working with. It's like a band that plays beautiful music together," she says.

Location Info

Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar - CLOSED

1512 Curtis St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant


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29 comments
staff
staff

What a load of absolute garbage some of these negative and fictional comments are.

Take it from somebody that's works at Le Grand and has from the day it opened, we're all happy as can be working for Robert Thompson and we're busy every single day.  It's one of the best environments I've worked in and we all make great money here from all the steady traffic through the doors.  

Jesus Christ, we were on the cover of 5280 Magazine's best new restaurant issues last month!  The owner is happy and I wait on one of the investors all the time. You've never seen a bigger smile on somebody's face than each time this guy comes in.  People that says otherwise is just making fucking shit up.  We here at the restaurant are actually on the ground seeing the truth.  

Ask anybody that actually works in this company and they will tell you we're cruising at Le Grand and I see Robert running around working on Punch Bowl all the time.  I'm probably not supposed to comment on this because it's not supposed to be anybody's business, but Punch Bowl is opening this summer and we're all fucking stoked.  All you haters (probably ex-employees or their mommies) can suck it.  We are going to have 100 new happy co-workers in the company at Punch Bowl coming to the defense of Robert like me.  Since we've opened at Le Grand less than 20% of my coworkers in the front of the house have turned over and we all know how quickly waiters find other jobs when things aren't going very well.  

To you haters you should find something else to do.  To all the regular people out there just remember that this is an anonymous blog where the same fired employee can post comments over and over again under different names trying satisfy an agenda or maybe just somebody that forgot to take their meds.

Philo99
Philo99

Poor, poor girl. She's going to manage the beverages at all the locations which currently stands at a whopping one. The others have closed due to lack of customers and the other is years behind schedule due to lack of funding.

Robert Thompson or Daniel Kuhlman. Which Denver restaurant owners has ripped off more employees and investors?    

impatience
impatience

Let's take bets on which of these opens first (or ever) Punch Bowl Social or Gary Lee's Pub and Grub...

OGP
OGP

Anika is a rock star and I can't wait to spend my Sundays at Punch Bowl trying her drinks.  Thompson in my opinion must be doing something right, look at the talent he attracts and check out his accolades.  I always see these comments and think that their are a few employees that did not "stack up" and wish they were still on his team. I never checked out Argyll, but Love Le Grand and can't wait for Punch Bowl!  Seriously... Sergios food and Anika's drinks?

CMB
CMB

Pretty exciting news. Ive always enjoyed checking out what the latest is from Anika. And it always seems that Thompson is in the light for a great new concept or experience.  I am a huge fan of Le Grand and even a bigger one of Argyll (When can i get another scotch egg?) if Punch Bowl is half of what it is expected to be it should be exciting. Thats just what this city needs is a great place to hang with friends in the right area of town that doesn't just center around just drinking. Congrats you too hope to see you soon.

Joseph
Joseph

Ive been drinking at Anikas bars for years, she's got some great skill that is hard to be matched.  I've also been dining at Thompson's eateries for a long time as well, what a splendid marriage...And I hope them both the best of luck in all of their joint endeavors

Kristen
Kristen

I am truly happy for Anika and the exciting new venture that this concept has planned.  If anyone know's her talent and resume, they would be thrilled for the addition to the neighborhood.  We are looking forward to checkin it out when it opens!!  Can't wait!!

Jerry Still
Jerry Still

Thompson is a scum-bag who can't figure out how to pay his taxes or anyone else for that matter. I feel for anyone who has to work the the bastard. Like history has shown, he will be looking for more "investors" soon. Go away already  

Carly
Carly

Last I heard (from a bartender at a neighboring bar to the proposed Punch Bowl) was that they were running out of money to complete the project?  Interesting that they already have plans to go national.

GeofferyG
GeofferyG

Cant wait for Punch Bowl to open. Make it happen sooner!! Their menu looks great and I've been told they'll have vegan items in the diner. Not enough people taking care of the plant eaters. Gonna get my veggie on and throw some games with a pint of whatever. Or maybe have Anika make me one of her cocktails. I hear she's okay also.

Beverly
Beverly

I'm happy for all involved. Good people doing cool things. Keep your hating agenda. Or better yet, post your comments on a Facebook page so everyone can see who you are and understand your agenda instead of an anonymous blog. I was at Le Grand two weeks ago watching 200 people dine. Doesn't look like anybody is going anywhere.

Their company website details a long history of successful restaurants and bars in Nashville Austin and Denver.

dood
dood

Thompson doesn't have a great record for keeping restaurants open very long.   It would be nice if he focused on succeeding in one location before drawing up grand plans to turn this into a national chain.

Anybody remember this quote- "Noca Kitchen is going to be a substantial growth vehicle for us in Denver," Thompson announced yesterday, "as well as the rest of the country."

Baker
Baker

Anika is awesome and Punch Bowl is going to be amazing. They will kill in Baker Neighborhood. Warm fuzzy story.

Brian Melton
Brian Melton

Wait, did Thompson just compare Anika to pornography? Ha!

Philo99
Philo99

Ouch......That review in the Denver Post today had to hurt. Man that's the type of review that can kill a place, especially one already on the edge.

Get your resume out there, Le Grand will be closed by the end of the summer.

staff
staff

Blah blah blah.  Phil is an idiot.  When you post your comments to a FB page so we can see who you REALLY are then you can be taken seriously.  Hang tight Phil and post your apocalyptic bullshit on westword's coverage of Punch Bowl's opening.  You make me sick.  Oh, and whatever beef you have with Thompson I'm sure Anika didn't do anything to you.

Robert Thompson
Robert Thompson

I'm happy to say that PBS will be open this summer.  Anybody that's made a comment on this blog is welcome to the Grand Opening party - even the phantom Mr. Jerry Still !!

Email me through the the Punch Bowl Social website and I'll get you on the list.  

Cheers.

OGP
OGP

Check out the guys accolades and the talent he attracts... Sounds like you are an ex-employee that could not hang with someone who achieves "Best New Restaurant" awards with multiple places.  Jerry...you should spend less time posting and more time on craigslist looking for your next pay check!Thompson and his team Rocks... only natural he would have one of the best mixologists in Denver and the country on his team.  Congrats Anika!

Sterling
Sterling

Disgruntled ex employees can say anything about anyone on these things. I've seen salt of the earth people thrown under the bus by random readers here. Anyone with an ax to grind can make up anything and throw it into the universe hoping it will stick on anonymous blogs. Unfortunate. Maybe Westword can force people to register before posting. This stuff distracts from good stories and reporting.

6toes
6toes

Bartender in my neighborhood told me that Mitt Romney is a really good dancer.  

staff
staff

Does anybody read the Post?  You mean the paper that just let go of its most read reporter in Penny Parker because it couldn't afford to pay her anymore?  I'd be more interested to hear your thoughts on when the Post is going the way of the Rocky Mountain News.  We're more interested in the best new restaurant honor from 5280 Magazine.  That's a food publication that people actually believe in and read.  Amanda Faison is the best in the business. Whether you like my boss or not Amanda's credentials are unquestionable.  See Le Grand on the cover of March 5280 Magazine.  Porter has been a food critic for 7 minutes. I think he came over from the mechanic section or maybe the advice column of the Post?  

This publication, Westword, gave us an awesome review from Laura Shunk.  Check it out while you are here on Westword's site.  I'd say we're doing okay without William Porter's opinion.  

No matter how much you want it to be true, Phil, Le Grand is rocking and not going anywhere.  I know you're disappointed but we'll all have to learn to live with your frustration.  

Philo99
Philo99

Beef with Thompson? Maybe I'm just someone smart enough to know; that when the same guy opens up a bunch of different restaurants all over town, and they close within a year, that those places are loosing a bunch of money.

Brasserie Rouge, remember that? The investors cut him off and he closed that and ran off to Chicago. How about Noca Kitchen? He signed a 10 year lease for that place, with plans to open 20 across the country, instead he stiff the landlord and everyone that put time into helping him.

Open up your eyes "staff" and stop being so gullible.

Dave
Dave

So why can't these "Best New Restaurants" stay open for more than a couple of years?  Funny how you dismiss any criticism as coming from disgruntled ex-employees.  I wonder what your relation is to this restaurant group?

Why can't Thompson just focus on creating a kick-ass bowling alley and restaurant. Traveling around the country in search of 30 locations nationwide before he's even got one off the ground seems like a poor use of his time and energy.  (I haven't seen much activity lately at 1st and Broadway).

Dave
Dave

i've got no personal beef with thompson.  i live around the corner and am hoping that this thing succeeds, but when I see quotes like this, I am not optimistic.  sounds like he is counting his eggs before they hatch-

"Thompson is also in talks with General Growth for deals in Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Tucson, Ariz. “We’re focused on opportunities outside of GGP as well,” he said. “We’re always looking for additional real estate with the right landlords or land-acquisition plays. We may sign 15 to 30 deals, depending on the cost of capital and the real estate market."

Carly
Carly

Mine too!  I hear he's especially skilled at "The Robot".

staff
staff

You're an uneducated liar with no credible facts operating on heresy with an agenda.  The company I work for has owned successful restaurants and bars Nashville, Denver and Austin.  Everyone out there should go to the company web site to get a real understanding - not Phil the turd's BS. 

 Oh, and stop into Le Grand anytime. We average 300 covers each weekend night. On the edge?  Yeah, we're on the edge of popping at the seams.   The facts are stronger than Phil's made-up crap.  What a douchebag.  

OGP
OGP

Not yet met the guy but I've eaten Sergio's food and had a few too many of Anika's drinks! I just think its far to easy to be a critic when you are anonymous.   

RT
RT

I guess we'll have to wait and see when it opens.  We should revisit these posts this summer.  

SR
SR

What this has to do with Anika, Beverage Directors, Punch Bowl, Le Grand or the price of tea in China, I'm not certain.  Where did Lori's story get off message in this blog? Anika rocks and Punch Bowl is going to be great. Everybody wins.  Focus on the positive.  

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