HIGHLAND — A mere two months after announcing their partnership to create a neighborhood restaurant & bar on one of Northwest Denver’s busiest traffic corridors, local restaurateur, nightclub owner, and real estate developer Jesse Morreale, Larimer Associates / City Street Investors, and contributing Chef Goose Sorensen are pleased to announce the name, concept and menu for The Thunderbird Imperial Lounge – a much needed addition to the Sunnyside and Highlands neighborhoods. Designed to invoke and honor the nostalgia of past decades with a modern twist, this authentic, neighborhood-oriented restaurant & bar concept, in alignment with Morreale’s penchant for tapping into what’s important to his customers and the neighborhoods in which they reside, is a departure from some of his earlier venues that celebrated on Mexican pop culture.
In The Thunderbird Imperial Lounge, Morreale has crafted a look and feel designed to elicit feelings of nostalgia and comfort using colors, textures, materials, and memorabilia from the 70’s through the 90’s, creating a cozy, accessible space that’s both warm and cool at once. Forest green walls, handcrafted cherry, mahogany, and white oak woodwork, a horseshoe bar, and comfortable leather seating areas are complimented by antique wrought iron chandeliers and hand-blown glass light fixtures. In true Morreale fashion, patrons will also find a sampling of some of the unique, iconic elements he has collected over the course of his career and adventures in music and hospitality; ranging from old concert and event posters to the jukebox – last seen on the set of a 1998 feature film that Morreale is leaving up to The Thunderbird’s guests to identify.
“After [Larimer Associates’] Joe Vostrejs showed me the location – on this significant traffic corridor – the concept and design process involved a great deal of research and investigation into both neighborhoods, including actively talking to neighbors and visitors to learn what they’d most like to see from a new venue setting roots in their backyard. After creative consideration, it became obvious that this location would be best served with a fresh and exciting destination — The Thunderbird Imperial Lounge,” states Morreale. “After an intense, accelerated schedule and lots of hard work, we are thrilled to be on the verge of opening a destination that is in line what our new neighbors said they’ve hoped for in this vibrant part of our city – an expansive, affordable offering of elevated comfort food and good drinks in an unpretentious setting – a venue for all that’s intended to support this underserved community in these two neighborhoods.”
The affordable, elevated comfort food menu, created in collaboration between Morreale and consulting Chef Goose Sorensen, will feature inspired but uncomplicated selections that celebrate a modern take on old school favorites, specialty plates, and more. Classic favorites like burgers, wings, salads, and sandwiches will be joined, of course, with a few highly requested items returning from past Morreale restaurants.
The Thunderbird Imperial Lounge is nearly 3,000 square feet, seating over 150 patrons at dining tables, in the bar, and on an expansive, covered back patio that in warmer weather becomes an extension of the interior space via three large retractable glass garage doors. Leather booths and banquettes (some that guests might recognize from Morreale’s revered institution Rockbar) provide comfortable gathering spaces to share meals, drinks and watch games on multiple flat screen televisions with friends, family, and neighbors. Located on the traffic corridor separating Highlands and Sunnyside at the corner of 38th and Lipan, The Thunderbird Imperial Lounge will be open for lunch, dinner and late-night daily from 11am-1am, and feature a full bar, special “blue collar cocktails”, twenty beers on tap, and game day specials for Denver sports fans.
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