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Wine bar takes former Squeaky Bean space in LoDo (Local Tips & Reviews)

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The space in the building at 1500 Wynkoop St. has been empty since Chow Morso Osteria closed in late 2020. (Maia Luem)

A new restaurant is planned for a downtown space that’s been empty for over two years.

The Velvet Cellar, which aims to be an approachable wine and cocktail lounge, will open at 1500 Wynkoop St., near Union Station in LoDo. 

The 4,000-square-foot space was formerly home to Chow Morso Osteria, which closed in November 2020 after two years, and the Squeaky Bean for five years before that. 

“It’s a nice wine bar with spirits and beer, but it’s also going to have a great, from-scratch menu,” executive chef Todd Bobrovicz said of the concept. “That’s not really being done right now.”

According to Bobrovicz, the restaurant will offer 2oo wine labels to start, and eight to 10 small plates that will change monthly. 

Bobrovicz previously worked for Osteria Marco and The Post. He said he’s going to cure meat and make bread and cheese in house.

“We’re not reinventing the wheel, but we’re creating something where people can come in from all walks of life,” Bobrovicz said.

The two owners, who asked not to be named, leased the space this month and hope to have it open by the fall.

They said they’re spending about $500,000 on building out the space, and hired general managers Kelsey Tyner and Nichole Sullivan earlier this year. Bobrovicz was brought on last fall. Everyone on the team has over 15 years of restaurant experience.

Jamie Mitchel, Paul Nora and Darrin Revious with Pinnacle Real Estate Advisors represented the landlord in the deal. Velvet Cellar was represented by Eric Shaw, also with Pinnacle.

Sullivan said the restaurant will feel luxurious, while remaining affordable. The space will have deep colors like midnight blue with rose gold and copper accents. 

“Nothing is half-way done,” Sullivan said. “They’re not going on the cheap with anything — it’ll all be high end.” 

The restaurant will have a staff of about 20, including servers and bartenders.

“We’re trying to bring that life back to downtown Denver and build something people can enjoy,” Bobrovicz said. 

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