There's more than 235 restaurants to try over the next 10 days, and most restaurants offer three-course meals for only $30 during the highly anticipated event: Denver Restaurant Week.

9NEWS could wax poetic about the food all day, but sharing history can be just as fun.


Ophelia's Electric Soapbox -- a restaurant and music venue in Denver -- has an intriguing past.

“When I first saw this building, man, I thought 'If this building could talk,'” Justin Cucci, the chef and owner of Ophelia’s, said. “There was a story here. It was at one time a brothel. It was, at one time, an adult-video bookstore, [and] a peep show.”

The Airedale building off of 20th and Larimer streets was built in 1889. When Cucci walked through the door five years ago to transform the space into a restaurant, he was simply enchanted.

“It was beautiful,” Cucci said. “Almost stuck in time. It hadn’t been used in 40 years. Everything existed in a time machine."

The peep-show booths were still in place, and the adult bookstore was fully stocked. One picture served as the inspiration for the restaurant's name.

"Ophelia’s came because we found this image of this woman Ophelia, and we thought she might have been a part of this buildings history,” Cucci said.

Cucci and his team were so taken with the history, they used it in every part of their venue. Original posters hang on the walls and books from the previous adult-bookstore are used as decor, which fits the theme of the restaurant.

“Gastro-brothel is what we like to call our food,” Cucci said. "Even though it’s an issue that’s divisive, I still think there was a lot to celebrate in the building's history.”

Ophelia's opened in 2015 in the first two floors of the building. The top two floors are currently being used as a hostel. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ophelia's is just one of the many options during Denver Restaurant Week, however. To make reservations at a restaurant that intrigues you, visit:

Insider tips:

  • If reservations are full, try sitting at the bar where they still offer the Restaurant Week menu.
  • Go really early or really late, and there's usually a chance you can snap a table