- Griffin Swartzell
After months of repairs and renovations on its new 616 S. Tejon St. location, Coquette's Bistro & Bakery (coquettesbistro.com) has reopened. The gluten-free eatery held limited-seating, limited-hours soft openings on July 20 and 21, before a full opening on Saturday, July 22. Fans of the beloved local bistro snapped up reservations, booking the restaurant rapidly.
"It's been an overwhelming response, and great love has been bestowed upon our new space," says co-owner Michelle Marx.
The business originally opened in 2009 as a creperie in Manitou, using a house-made gluten-free flour, eventually expanding to include a full dinner menu. Then came an expansion downtown into the spots now held by Rooster's House of Ramen and Four by Brother Luck. But this new location has allowed Michelle and co-owner/daughter Turu Marx to add something they've wanted for some time: gluten-free pizza. They've also added daily happy hours from 4 to 6 p.m. Starting at 10 p.m., they offer a late-night menu, featuring mostly appetizers and fried options.
"We expanded everything out a little bit, but we have everything we did before," says Turu. They've also lengthened hours, staying open until midnight daily. The bakery will open each day at 8 a.m., offering gluten-free baked goods and coffee from Barista espresso. Coquette's uses a custom coffee blend, which Turu says will also be available for retail purchase.
"We're not quite to the level of Loyal coffee, but we definitely want a very high-end, quality coffee," she says.
They've begun working with David Stahl of Southern Wine to bulk out their wine program, focusing on high-end wines and wines that are less common in the local restaurant scene. Turu acknowledges that, at this point, they're just "dipping their toes in," but they intend to expand and improve over time. The bar has four taps, and they intend to offer a total of 32 beers and ciders. Many of their beers come from Boulder's New Planet Brewery.
General manager Nigel Broadfoot has teamed with the Marxes to develop the restaurant's cocktail program, which features vodka and gin from Spring 44 Distilling of Loveland, as well as spirits from Woody Creek. The program leans heavily on teas and tea infusions made from the Tea Spot in Boulder. "We've been using that for our iced tea for years," says Broadfoot.
As for the space, it's sizable, featuring chic modern color schemes — light woods and plenty of pale walls and accent colors. The business also offers private party space that can seat up to 55. That area will also double as a small gallery for art shows.
"We're trying to promote [Coquette's as the] last stop on a First Friday art excursion," says Turu. She says they're also playing with the idea of hosting live music on the patio, as well as projecting movies and sporting events on a side of the building.
"There's a lot of things we're going to experiment with, entertainment-wise," she says.