An Upscale Cocktail Bar With a Theme and Fabulous Design
Room for Milly is rich in color, art and tasty libations from the duo who brought us Blue Sparrow Coffee and Queens Eleven
Room for Milly, the latest project from entrepreneurs Fiona Arnold and Jeffrey Knott (Blue Sparrow Coffee, Queens Eleven) is an upscale drinking establishment with a theme (Milly Parker’s life) and fabulous design.
This crew takes their surfaces and textures very seriously, and they’re equally particular about their cocktails. What’s more, our very own Kate Meyers (Kate Finds Art) curated the stunning and eclectic art found throughout the space.
We sat down with Fiona, founder of the real estate and business development firm MAINSPRING, to learn more about the new cocktail bar.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE ROOM FOR MILLY?
Jeffrey Knott (my partner in our F&B businesses) and I had been discussing for some time that Denver hasn’t really developed a happy hour/end of day culture and realized that there was a lack of approachable high quality cocktail bars in Denver that didn’t require a reservation. Once we started talking about the idea of creating a cocktail bar we couldn’t let it go, and when this space came up we knew exactly what we wanted to do. We wanted to create a space that was luxe and beautiful but at the same time comfortable and somewhere you could sink into and not leave.
WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THE NAME?
Milly Parker is from the generation of women who came of age between the world wars who really pushed boundaries, for themselves and generally for stereotypes of what women could or should do and instead focused on opening their minds through travel and experiences and time spent with artists, writers and political thinkers. We loved the idea of creating the type of cocktail bar that Milly would have enjoyed spending an evening surrounded by smart interesting people from all walks of life and hosting long soirees simply enjoying each other’s company and some excellent cocktails.
WHAT MAKES ROOM FOR MILLY UNIQUE IN DENVER?
Room for Milly is a high design location saturated in color and layers. Just like Milly, we took a very unconventional approach to design but we think it all comes together. It is high design but not too serious. We flirted with feminine colors and gorgeous wallpapers balanced with deep green walls and high gloss wood bar tops. The design itself is very unusual for Denver, which tends to be either industrial or have simple clean lines.
This space resembles the richness of a traditional British men’s club but if it was clothed in a riot of colors, art and fun objects. Combine that with a deep crafted cocktail experience, carefully selected wines and a selection of flavorful small plates, we think it is a really special place.
TELL US ABOUT THE DESIGN.
It all started with a wallpaper. I saw the Lindsay Cowles 810 Pink wallpaper. She is a contemporary artist and decorative arts designer in Richmond, VA who paints large-scale abstract oil paintings and then digitally manipulates them into patterns for wallpapers and textiles.
We lean toward products created by artisans and small scale manufacturers and try to support small batch craft production in our projects whenever we can. Local design and small manufacturing is really where the exciting products are. Batya Stepelman at Walltawk in Denver obtained a sample for us and I carried it around for a long time. Once we decided to do the bar it became the jumping off point.
I knew that I wanted to do something that was a modern not too serious take on London/New York old world style and that led to the high color, high gloss selections and unexpected layers.
HOW DID YOU CONNECT WITH KATE FINDS ART?
I met Kate when Colorado Homes & Lifestyles did a photo shoot of my home. We started talking about the art in my house and it was clear that Kate was passionate and knowledgeable. When we talked about our Room for Milly project, it just clicked and Kate got exactly what we were trying to pull off. We knew we needed to work together on the art. I was beyond thrilled when she agreed to take the project on and she has created something really special with the art throughout the space. Working with her to seek out the right pieces and combinations was a wonderful experience.
WHEN DOES ROOMY FOR MILLY OFFICIALLY OPEN?
Room for Milly opens to the public on February 28, 2020, the day after our grand opening party.