It’s no secret that the Denver restaurant scene is booming. The true foodies, however, know that some of the newest gems lie just outside of the city in the surrounding suburbs, where Denver chefs have ventured out to spread their culinary wings.
Lowry, a sprawling neighborhood just east of the city, is growing into one of those very suburbs. Anchored by the history of the former Lowry Air Force Base, the “mini-suburb” is sprinkled with parks, restaurants, and shops that paint a picture of a spot further removed from city life than it actually is.
This makes it the perfect niche for Denver chef Sterling Robinson’s newest venture — Officers Club. The goal of this new Lowry restaurant is to capture the nostalgia of the neighborhood’s feel and embody that in a uniquely American cuisine.
“We wanted to help [our partners] really understand this neighborhood,” states Robinson. “We did this focus group, and we said ‘What is Lowry missing?’ Well, the first thing that we found out is – there is no place to get a serious cocktail.”
Other nearby spots, like Robinson’s North County, offer hand-crafted drinks and fare, but with a much more boisterous feel. Officers Club, then, is much different.
“If you wanted a place to go out with your wife for one cocktail, split a bottle of red wine, share an appetizer – where are you going to go in Lowry for that? You’re going to drive to two places. Where are you gonna go? Cherry Creek or Downtown. We realized that there was this niche of people that did not want to go that far or spend that much money … We understood that this would be a niche that would immediately be successful, and really people asked us for something and we’re giving them what they asked for.”
The result of Robinson’s collaboration with Joe Vostrejs was a restaurant that captures the essence of “supper clubs” and the hearty cocktails of an earlier era. “I come from fine dining,” Robinson states. “I’m a sommelier, I have initials, I hate everyone like me. I understand ‘serve from the left and clear from the right’ … but where I saw myself was [in] some middle area to pay homage to American cookery.”
And the food does not disappoint. With menu items that range from upscale seafood to hearty burgers, each item is intentionally sourced and purposefully made to play up the flavor in every bite.
“My ideas were really about regional stuff. Maryland crabcakes. St. Louis-style ribs. Hawaiian poke and all these things that tie and make America beautiful. It’s all an homage to the apple pie and the culture and the history of something like an Air Force base called Lowry.”
Officers Club has the character and style of a place you’d expect to see in Cherry Creek or downtown Denver but avoids pretentiousness by playing up the familiarity and comfort reflected in the menu, the sunny patio, and even Sterling Robinson himself.
“So welcome to Officers Club,” states Robinson. “Welcome to supper clubs. It’s familiar, iconic American fare with a focus on bold and styled cocktails.”
Officers Club opens its doors June 18.