The Source you know is on its way out — say hello to the new Source

The Source you know, but with more bread.

The Source Hotel is under construction, Dec. 12, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Source Hotel is under construction, Dec. 12, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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If you’ve ever walked into The Source and thought, what this place could use is some more couches and bread, 2019 is your year.

Over the next few months, the marketplace will undergo a transformation that includes new vendors, a juice and cocktail bar, and a common area revamped with more comfy furniture and new workspace. So far the only visible change is the arrival of a bakery, but in March, hanging out at The Source will feel totally different — while remaining, at it’s heart, the same.

“When we opened it in 2013, the big idea was: How do you take this former manufacturing building — our architect has called it a cathedral to industry — and highlight it as a public building, what it really wants to be, and kind of take advantage of the craft movement?,” said Justin Croft, vice president of development at Zeppelin Development.

“That hasn’t changed. That is what The Source is.”

Reunion Bakery is about to open at The Source in RiNo, Five Points, Jan. 22, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Reunion Bakery is about to open at The Source in RiNo, Five Points, Jan. 22, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The first big change is the arrival of Reunion Bread Company. Founded by bread maker Ismael de Sousa, the bakery will eschew commercial yeast and make most of its breads from just flour, salt and water. The menu features naturally-leavened bread, South African beer bread made with local beers, pastries, granola and toast, and the bakery itself is open for observation.

“You will find us making bread all day long, and we want our customers to stay and learn,” de Sousa said in a statement. “We are building an open space so guests can learn how bakers used to be and be a part of the process.”

And coming soon to the center of the room: Isabel, a juice and cocktail bar named for Isabel Nesmith Evans, president of the Colorado Iron Works. The company built and ran the original Source foundry in the 1880s and Croft said The Source wants to pay tribute to Evans through the bar.

It’s not as weird as it sounds.

“I felt like we had never done a great job of telling the history of the building. … I wanted the bar to be an opportunity to tell the story of the building,” Croft said.

So he went to the History Colorado Library and started learning more about the building and about Evans, who became president of Colorado Iron Works after her father died.

“We think she was the first female industrialist and probably the only in Denver’s history,” Croft said.

And, true to the times, she was also a socialite. Croft found newspaper clippings from the early 1900s reporting on her parties at her home in Capitol Hill.

So the bar is a tribute to her hospitality and he leadership at the foundry — where, by the way, materials to build the Brown Palace were forged.

Reunion Bakery founder Ismael De Sousa helps a customer during his shop's soft opening at The Source in RiNo, Five Points, Jan. 22, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Reunion Bakery founder Ismael De Sousa helps a customer during his shop's soft opening at The Source in RiNo, Five Points, Jan. 22, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Isabel, the bar, will serve fresh-pressed juices, smoothies and “wellness shots” from Harvest Juicery, along with beer, wine and spirits, and it’ll offer full cocktail service at night. Running the show will be Justin Anderson (Zeppelin Station, MONEYGUN, Revival Food Hall), Michael Huebner (Zeppelin Station, Revival Food Hall) and Annie Montgomery (Zeppelin Station, Nocturne, Modis).

The surrounding common area will, essentially, get cozier. They’re adding couches and other comfy seating, warmer lighting and new plants.

Among the other changes: Acorn is will be expanding and adding a dessert bar, and new retail options are moving in. Things are still getting ironed out on both of those fronts, but a press release says the new retail concept will focus on “putting process on display.”

All of the changes are meant in part to serve a daytime crowd as much as a nighttime crowd — the provide a cozy work and lounge space as much as a shopping and meet-up space. It should suit the folks coming in and out of the new(ish) Source Hotel well, though Croft said the changes were driven more by a pursuit of certain values than the opening of the hotel.

“Probably some of the things we’re doing were on our list, but we needed to get the hotel up and operating,” he said. “… I think it really is just a continued commitment to the idea of this part of the city focused more on makers culture and just creativity, and having The Source be a hub for that.”

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