Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, Denver’s favorite brothel turned restaurant/music venue, will reopen in early 2022

The venue has been closed for renovations.
2 min. read
Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox on 20th St. December 13, 2021.
Ana Campbell

Ophelia's Electric Soapbox, Denver's beloved brothel-turned-music venue/dinner club, is set to finally reopen in the new year.

The Ballpark establishment closed at the start of the pandemic in 2020, and has since toyed with reopening a number of times. In October 2020, the restaurant shared an update on its Google Maps page, saying it was working toward a December 2020 reopening date. Earlier this fall, Ophelia's teased a "Winter 2021" reopening on its marquis.

Now, according to the Ophelia's website, the "gastro-brothel" plans to reopen in early February, 2022. On Monday, Ophelia's PR rep Rebecca Shapiro wrote in an email to Denverite that Ophelia's is indeed slated to open in 2022. Shapiro also wrote that the venue's owner and executive chef, Justin Cucci, has been spending the last few months renovating the space.

Ophelia's is one of the six restaurants under the Edible Beats umbrella. The restaurant family, led by Cucci, includes concepts known for their veg-first menus: Linger, Vital Root, Root Down, El Five, and Root Down DIA. In addition to hosting live music, comedy shows and parties in its venue space, Ophelia's Electric Soapbox has served up an eclectic lineup of brunch, dinner, happy hour and late night food and beverages since its opening in 2015.

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The space makes up the ground floor and basement of the historical Airedale building, an ornate, red brick 1889 building listed on the  National Register of Historic Places. Originally named Kopper's Hotel and Saloon, the building has housed a hotel and flop house in its top two floors throughout its more than 100 years. Now, those floors operate as a modern hostel, Hostel Fish.

However, the building is perhaps better known for its history as an adult book store, a peep-show parlor and a brothel. Even now, the restaurant's décor nods to the building's sultry history.

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