Denver Bar Association
November 2011
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Bar Review: Homage to Mortuary Lingers on at Hip LoHi Spot

by Sara Crocker

Bar Review: Homage to Mortuary Lingers on at Hip LoHi Spot

Linger 

Mixology and international
street eats.
2030 W. 30th Ave., (303) 993-3120
lingerdenver.com

T


here’s nothing dead about Linger—the lively LoHi hotspot from the same people who brought Denver the nearby favorite Root Down—considering its former clientele.

Nestled in the former Olinger Mortuary building at the corner of 30th Avenue and Tejon Street, Linger takes a mischievous approach in acknowledging the former tenant (no need to cringe; the space is the former garage). The happy hour crowd is treated not only to cocktails and small bites at the upstairs bar but also beautiful cityscapes while the sun sets and the lights of the buildings downtown start to twinkle.

Linger’s menu is a culinary globe-trot, offering takes on street food in regions of nearly every continent. The happy hour menu offers a smattering of small plates that can be found on the dinner menu. We (being a great turnout of guests: Becky Bye, James Garts, Natalie Lucas, Kate Schuster, Chris Mommsen, Frank Schuchat, his daughter Nora Schuchat, Marshall Snider, and Dennis Walker) opted for a wide variety, ranging from barbecued duck in steamed buns and Kobe beef tacos to deconstructed jalapeño poppers and sweet potato waffle fries.

The food was excellent and offered new and complex flavors to familiar, or not, grab-and-go favorites. However, it was elevated to a point that it was unlike street food many of the well-heeled Docket Committee members have encountered in their travels. Indeed, "they must have lived on a pretty upscale street," Snider said. Authentic or not, we all passed around the small plates, oohing and aahing, remarking on the pops of flavor from different accents in each dish, from pickled vegetables to well-crafted sauces. Each table is also greeted with baskets of fresh, spiced popcorn to share. The happy hour drink menu is pared to select cocktails, house wines, and discounts on drafts, offering something for everyone.


(From right) Becky Bye, Marshall Snider, Chris Mommsen,
Natalie Lucas, Sara Crocker, and Kate Schuster.

The staff was attentive, monitoring our water glasses and making sure everyone got a chance for last call during happy hour. They were also honest, letting us know how small some of the appetizer plates really are. But, they must be on their toes—indeed the bar gets packed for the weekday happy hour crowd.

Just as enjoyable as the items shared at the table were the stories. Walker recalled that Snider and Bye regaled the group with travel stories, while Garts enlivened the group with his humor.

Connecting the past of Olinger to the present is seen everywhere, from dimming the "O" in the iconic sign atop the building and repurposing "Mortuaries" to read "Eatuaries" to playful nods like toe tags on bright green laminated paper listing the happy hour menu, coffin rollers serving as the legs of high-top glass tables in the bar area, and stout glass bottles that resemble ones that should carry formaldehyde bearing water for the table. The attention to this morbid detail is seen even in the restrooms with ads for coffins adorning the walls. It gave, as Schuchat said, "just the right hint of that fun funeral home ambiance." D


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