First Look: Argyll Whisky Beer Gastropub opens tonight in Uptown

awb58.jpg
All photos by Lori Midson.

Tonight at 5 p.m., restaurateur Robert Thompson, along with an incredibly pedigreed pool of talent, including executive chef John Broening, beer-and-whisky king Ryan Conklin and front-of-the-house czar Steve Kingsbury, will open Argyll Whisky Beer Gastropub in Uptown, in the former Las Margaritas space.

See also: Exclusive: Robert Thompson opening Argyll Whisky Beer in the Las Margaritas space in Uptown

Thompson, who also owns Punch Bowl Social -- now a prolific national chain -- and the forthcoming Griffin, a German beer hall in RiNo that will come to fruition in the fall, originally opened Argyll in a subterranean spot in Cherry Creek in 2008, and while he shuttered Argyll in 2011, he promised that he'd resurrect it. And he has, with smashing results. "We kept what was beautiful in the old concept and added to that with the new," says Thompson of the 5,000-square-foot space, which doubles as a whisky-and-beer-centric gastropub and a design homage -- the quarters were fashioned by OZ Architecture -- to the Thompson family crest, which is rooted in Scotland.

And the vast size, coupled with a superb location, adds Thompson, sold him on the space. "We needed a lot of square footage to handle the volume, especially at key times, and we already have a concentrated customer base in Uptown," he says, noting, too, that the emphasis at Argyll is "just as much about Ryan's beer, wine and whisky list as it is about John's brilliant food."

In fact, stresses Thompson, "The communication and synergy between John's food and the beers is purposeful; it's all about what pairs well together and creating a conversation between food and beer," he explains.

The beer system, which is constructed from a custom-made, conversation piece plumbing pipe that Thompson had crafted in New York, pours twenty excellent beers, including Lion stout, Calymore Scotch ale, Deschutes Black Butte porter and Avery Reverend Belgian quad; an additional 25 beers are available by the bottle and can, and the whisky roster, inclusive of American, Scottish, Japanese, Irish, Canadian, Indian and French whiskeys, exceeds 200 -- and boasts numerous single malts. And cocktails -- modern and classic -- which number twenty, include a duo of "big cocktails" intended for sharing.

Broening's menu, which is steeped in traditional British trappings, trumpets everything from bangers and mash to fish and chips, a Scotch egg, shepherd's pie and an Indian-inspired chicken curry paired with chutneys and an almond-fennel rice. In addition, there's a terrific in-house charcuterie program that includes brawn, duck liver mousse, country pâté, merguez sausage, boudin blanc, cranberry kielbasa, housemade rosemary-scented ham and gin-cured salmon sidekicked with pickled onions, minced eggs and black bread.


Location Info

Argyll Whisky Beer

1035 E. 17th Ave, Denver, CO

Category: Music


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
29 comments
Samie Burnett
Samie Burnett

Shantelle Esquivel and Rochelle Hinskton, next stop...

Jason Hornyak
Jason Hornyak

went yesterday for luntz. had a fantastic salad and a great drink. the atmosphere is fantastic AND THEY HAVE ONEIDA SILVERWARE would recommend.

Beth Clemens
Beth Clemens

Ashleigh Arnall, we could be dining/drinking here soon if you lived in Denver!

Keeplodoinlodo
Keeplodoinlodo

Robert Thompson is great at turning neighborhood spaces into Old Navy douchebag hangouts, so its no surprise that this is "successful". The lack of any kind of actual esthetic or interesting decor in what used to be a beautiful and warm space is not surprising, seeing as how this is the only real esthetic he knows how to bring to the table. The clientele he caters to has essentially ruined the south Broadway area that the ultimate douche hangout Punch Bowl reigns supreme at, turning the area into drunk yuppies pissing up peoples' yards and starting fights on every corner. If youre in the mindset that getting a tribal tattoo is "edgy", then Im sure youll love any one of his spots. Meanwhile, the corner of 17th and Downing looks like a milk stand. Just another spot that has no soul or real esthetic whatsoever, extremely boring and safe- the very trend and way that Denver is going anymore. I mean, just look at that picture of the interior- its hideous. Meh.

Shane Kennedy
Shane Kennedy

Ahhhh ha worked at the old place for 15 years weird to see the transformation.

Katrina Andrus
Katrina Andrus

I drive by it every day, I hadn't even noticed it was open yet. Sounds good to me. I'm sure James would love to be Eric's date.

Jennifer Leigh
Jennifer Leigh

Ok...I see that he owns Punch Bowl, and I despise that place. But.....maybe....??? :)

Jennifer Leigh
Jennifer Leigh

YES PLEASE! Katrina Andrus Eric Anthony Riley Double date night? :)

AtticusFinch
AtticusFinch

I couldn't wait until the weekend to try it.  Went in tonight at 5:30, the whole bar was full, and by 6pm half the restaurant was full.  I had -- of course -- a scotch egg, which was as good as I remembered it, or better.  It had a fennel and apple slaw on the side, which was a nice summery addition.  I followed that with the chicken curry with almond rice.  They are offering two Indian style dishes with the idea that Brits eat as much Indian food as they do British food.  Clever.  Very good with just the right amount of curry spice; the almond rice is a complex bite all by itself.  Washed it down with an IPA and a Sour.  


I hear some of these commenters talk negatively about the owner,  Maybe they know him personally or they don't like reading about the competition.  But it occurs to me: Isn't Punch Bowl turning two this year?  Seems to still be one of the top five most successful food and beverage businesses in the state of Colorado.  The guy must be doing something right if this Denver store is so busy still and they are opening them up around the country.  


I don't really care who owns it, I'm just glad Argyll is back AND in my neighborhood.  

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

Hmm - well other than amazing talent for self promotion I have been less than impressed with Mr. Thompson's restaurants.  Rest In Peace - Le Grand, the original Argyll, Brasserie Rouge, and the highly dubious Punch Bowl.  We shall see what he can do here.  I'll be there for the Scotch Eggs for sure though.

waaaaaat
waaaaaat

9 pages on a bar opening has got to be a world record

JGDenver
JGDenver

Space looks great! The real question - is the old mac and cheese coming back?

weege0011
weege0011

I used to wait tables there when it was Josephina's Uptown.. Good times. 

mini-d
mini-d

Looks good! Though I really hope they put Argyll's old mac and cheese on the menu. It was excellent!

AtticusFinch
AtticusFinch

Stunning design and great looking food.  I live in Uptown; we've been watching them build this and are excited for our new neighborhood addition.  

Gerard_Portmanteau
Gerard_Portmanteau

@Keeplodoinlodo Sorry, but the fact that you are somehow assigning a really hip vibe to the slop-factory that was Las Margaritas--the clientele of which was in no wise edgier or more culturally forward than literally anywhere else in town, including Rubio's--makes me think this lil' rant is less about Thompson's restaurant(s) and more about your hurt butt.

dave_in_baker
dave_in_baker

Westword seems to have a Robert Thompson fetish which is strange because I don't think has been able to keep a restaurant open for more than two years.

OldNavyDenverSucks
OldNavyDenverSucks

@Gerard_Portmanteau @Keeplodoinlodo Get yourself back to the punch bowl, "brah". Im sure that this is your cool idea of what good design and architecture are all about, lol. Meanwhile, this place looks like a colorblind dentist's office, run by a douche who likes to jump counters and start fights for no good reason with other legitimate business owners (Ive seen it firsthand). Im sure you love the smell of his ass on your lips- so just keep kissing it, mongo.

Gerard_Portmanteau
Gerard_Portmanteau

@OldNavyDenverSucks What an intelligent reply! So, to be clear: your idea of cutting-edge design was the '80s-barf-chain-mex crap on the walls at LM? 


These threads are hilarious. You can always tell the old industry mopes with axes to grind. Sorry that the Glory Days are past, hoss.

Now Trending

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...