Food & Drink » Food News

Motif Jazz Café maximizes its potential


Cucumber pappardelle salad - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Cucumber pappardelle salad
After closing early last year, Motif Jazz Café ( has reopened in the Broadmoor neighborhood at 182 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd. The soft opening took place on Saturday, Feb. 18, though food was catered for that weekend’s service.

On visiting, two things about the café stick out. First, much of the interior design features curves, from booths to bar to rounded corners. Owner Steve Draper says he asked an acoustic engineer friend for advice on the space to help maximize its value as a jazz venue, thus his design choices.

Second, ignoring the fact that Draper says they’re still finishing up lighting, the space feels dark and intimate, lacking natural light. After Draper and partner Carolyn Hill toured five of the most popular, exclusive bars in Denver, they found that to be the standard. This approach makes for a space that feels removed from the passage of time — an escape for their patrons.

Moving to the kitchen, locals may recognize executive chef Skip Curtis from his time at Coquette’s and Trinity Brewing Co. back in the late ‘00s and early ‘10s, before retiring from restaurants around five years ago. Matching the Broadmoor area’s culinary expectations, his offerings will be somewhat high-end. At a recent press luncheon, he served a cucumber pappardelle salad with acidulated crème fraîche, mojito-marinated salmon over tabbouleh, and a roasted cauliflower steak, basted in vegan brown “butter.” He says the plates will veer small, to help keep prices down; nothing on the menu we see is over $15. Curtis says he’ll source ingredients locally through Fort Collins-based Loco Food Distribution.

Motif's metropolitan - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Motif's metropolitan
Jean-Paul Devarenne, beverage director, has put together a cocktail program with decided French and Prohibition overtones — no surprise considering he’s French. All of his flavored spirits, such as the citron vodka in his cosmopolitan, will be infused in-house.

Draper also confirmed rumor that Motif will share square feet with a grab-and-go lunch business, which he’ll co-own with Hill. They’ll serve pre-made po’boys, around $7 or $8 each, featuring house-made mayo and chow-chow, a relish popular in the South. Draper says to expect that venture to open in late March or early April.

Add a comment

Clicky Quantcast