To prove that Denver cosmopolitan development is alive and well beyond the pandemic, look no further than Cherry Creek at the new Clayton Members Club and Hotel.
The glitzy boutique hotel with restaurant and cafe on the ground floor has opened the doors to its shops in the lobby, with 63 hotel rooms, a rooftop lounge and speakeasy to follow soon.
First of all: While “Members Club” is in the name, everyone can stop in their Of a Kind restaurant for dinner or a drink; the café, oak market; and Five Nines Speakeasy (opening June).
And frankly, if you’ve been feeling trapped at home for months and need an escape before embarking on a real journey, that’s what you should do.
Like other Cherry Creek hotels and residences owned by local developer BMC Investments, Clayton seems to be on a mission to make the stuffy, complained neighborhood it’s located in more relevant. Which is a big deal, especially when the newest solution is a $ 3,000 annual membership club. (BMC CEO Matt Joblon has had varying degrees of success with his venture; Halcyon and its restaurants are one example, while Le Bilboquet in the St. Paul Collection is another.)
But the Clayton wants to stand out from the crowd by focusing on hiring a diverse staff and attracting different paying members. When asked about membership diversity, a representative said the club does not publish membership-specific statistics. But at the opening, Clayton’s selection committee comprised just under 50% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), while BIPOC included “Artists, Partners and Staff” or those with a reduced membership fee in exchange for shared “talents with the” Clayton community “, Comprised 30% of the member partners.
When you go
233 Clayton St., 303-551-1600; Of a Kind serves dinner from Tuesday to Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., with bar service until 11:00 p.m. Oak Market serves coffee, pastries, and takeaway from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm daily; Five Nines opens on June 10; For more information on the restaurants, the hotel and the members’ club, visit www.claytondenver.com.
For all of its members, Clayton offers an urban retreat with lots of good food, drinks and activities – from the rooftop lounge and access to coworking to events and programs.
It’s not a new model either; see fraternities, country clubs, golf courses, etc…. Soho House, which started in London in 1995 before expanding globally (including eight US locations), has created a similar hotel and club setup for its target audience, the affluent creative class.
But for the rest of us who can’t afford $ 3,000 a year membership (plus $ 500 enrollment fee), the public areas at the new Denver hotel are our next best option.
There are no surprises here, but dinner is still hotel or downtown prices, like $ 28 for a fried half chicken, $ 24 for a small plate of crab gnocchi, and $ 20 for a tuna tartare and salad wrap starter. (The tartare was delicious, with a lemon vinaigrette on the small gemstone salad and flavors of anchovy and mustard in every chilled bite of raw tuna.)
The club carefully drew former LA chef Brandon Duley, who worked for Gjelina and Ardor at The West Hollywood Edition, to create a menu that goes beyond hotel restaurant status.
And Duley’s bold flavors in dishes like chicken doner kebab hummus with house flatbread ($ 15) and berber-grated leg of lamb with farro and canned lemon yogurt ($ 42) could rise to iconic status.
If the whole thing sounds too extravagant, I’ll hear you. But if you’re curious, opt for a bar space with a cocktail or a glass of wine and a snack to share. Eat that or an Affogato in the café with local Little Owl espresso and Smith + Canon ice cream and then just stroll through the pretty (if a little cluby) rooms.
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