Come on for a cocktail, go along with a houseplant in these Denver bars which might be backyard retailers – The Denver Put up
Indoor plants were a hot buy during the COVID-19 pandemic as people spent more time at home and wanted to beautify their rooms. Now a couple of Denver bars are taking advantage of the plant baby boom and doubling up as garden shops.
Here is a place to have a drink and add a pot philodendron or monstera to your tab before you leave.
CONNECTED: A perfect, enchanting escape awaits you at a plant shop on South Broadway
The broken cage C
When Layla Friend opened The Broken Cage, the second outpost of an Orlando-based bar and restaurant, in January 2020, she had no intention of selling plants. They were just decorations that satisfied her green thumb. Enter the pandemic, and Friend needed a way to demarcate tables to allow social distancing. So she covered them with plants and then added some price tags.
“It has become a Covid sideline,” said Friend, whose affinity for foliage stems from growing up in lush Florida.
Plant sales don’t make up a large portion of The Broken Cage’s sales – most people come with shareable plates for the rotating selection of craft cocktails made with dried fruits and fresh herbs and the menu. But there are some regulars who ask Friend to look out for specific strains to add to their home collection. That inspired her to wholesale curate the plants and buy them straight from a van like a garden shop would.
“I always want pothos and philodendrons,” said Friend, “but getting rattlesnake plants is really fun, and I started buying palms and calathea and prayer plants like the marantas. I put propagations in the middle of the table and they make really nice centerpieces.
And maybe encourage customers to buy.
2420 17th St., Unit 103, Denver. thebrokencage.com/denver
Marigold (opening autumn 2021)
The space formerly known as Five Points Market will reopen this fall as a bar called Marigold, with the main attraction being the 2,500-square-foot Japanese outdoor garden.
Co-owners Sudy Kudba and Genevieve Shifrin plan to decorate the interior and roof terrace with greenery that goes with the theme, most of which are up for sale, Kudba said. Additionally, they want to take swallow-and-draw classes by running events where customers can build their own terrariums while enjoying a libation.
The idea for Marigold came after Kudba worked with the National Wildlife Federation to turn his other Denver bar, Gold Point, into an established pollinator garden. Kudba and Shifrin, who have six other partners in the business, loved the idea of bringing nature back to urban areas. Part of the appeal of Japanese landscaping is that you don’t see it often in Colorado.
“Some of the toughest plants were those native Japanese, trees, bushes, foliage,” Shifrin said, adding they visited Domo Japanese restaurant for inspiration. “We want it to be an experience. When entering, you almost feel transformed. “
Marigold, slated to open in October, won’t be serving food, but the owners plan to host live jazz music on occasion.
2721 Welton St., Denver. Expected opening in October 2021.
Subscribe to our Stuffed food newsletter to get Denver food and drink updates delivered to your inbox.