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Yacht Club, a community bar, is the newest addition to the Source

Yacht Club
Yacht Club
Jennifer Olson Photography

Yacht Club, a community bar inspired by the casual drinking and social cultures from around the world, will open in the center area at the Source on August 20. The space was briefly occupied by the CapRock Farm Bar. Owned by Mary Wright, the new venue aims to be a gathering place for locals, visitors, and industry professionals. Casual and laid-back, the Yacht Club’s mission is to provide the highest quality beverages and service in a setting that is comfortable and unpretentious.

“The Source is in many ways a community, our community, and also like it's own neighborhood,” says Mary. “My life-partner, Mclain Hedges, owns the Proper Pour. With the Yacht Club, we are not only excited to compliment the existing businesses, but also enhance and serve the quickly growing area,” she adds.

“The vision that Mary has in very much in line with what we are trying to create at the Source- a community space where like-minded people gather,” Kyle Zeppelin, developer of the Source explains. “Part of the programming will include more events in the common area space. We have a unique situation and a very collaborative environment that allows for all sorts of events from food-related book signings to lectures, tastings, dinners, and more,” he adds.

A full service bar, the Yacht Club will build on the idea of social drinking cultures. "We want the space to have something for everyone and also showcase how diverse the world of booze can be. In the islands you have 'Ti Punch, in Spain sherry or Gin & Tonics, as well as favorites here like juleps, cobblers, or a shot and a beer, and so on...at the Yacht Club we will showcase some of these ideas, as well as some of our own," Mary shares.

The wine list, largely inspired by the natural wine movement, meaning minimal intervention, indigenous yeast, and usually organic or biodynamic practices, will highlight quirky and esoteric bottles, but also classics. To encourage patrons to experiment and try new things, any bottle will be available to open for by-the-glass purchase with a two glass commitment, while the remainder will be thrown onto the by-the-glass list.

For the beer selection, the Yacht Club plans to keep a steady rotation of food-friendly beers. "It's all about balance. Whether it's a big, barrel-aged beast or a crisp pilsner, we want the beer to be approachable to the palate while maintaining a certain amount of complexity. However, you'll always be able to come in and grab a standby like banquet or highlife too."

A small and unique selection of food will be offered through a collaboration with Acorn, one of the two restaurants at the Source. The goal is to provide food that compliments the drinks, as opposed to a more traditional approach where drinks compliment the food. “We want to offer our guests a broad range of options- cocktails, wine, beer -without the commitment to a big dinner,” Mary explains. “But with an amazing bottle of wine, we also want them to be able to enjoy the highest quality bite, which is why we are thrilled with this partnership and to work with one of the most talented groups in the country,” she continues.

The team behind the Yacht Club, in collaboration with the design team at the Source, has worked on transforming the space to fit the new vision. The table seating in the back area was removed and replaced with custom-designed comfortable yet utilitarian black couches and low zebra wood tables to encourage casual lounging. Two marble-topped sections of the bar that extended toward the back area have been permanently removed. The transformation will continue with the addition of a custom LED-centric light piece created by local artist Evan Miller of Moving Light that will add warmth and the illusion of bringing the ceiling down in the vast space. Winter Session, a local canvas and leather goods designer, crafted the extensive upholstery for the space.

The name Yacht Club is a reference to the community aspect of the new bar, as well as a play on the fact that the neighborhood, RiNo, is set along the Platte River. “It’s not nautical. It’s tongue-and-cheek referencing the Platte River, but also camaraderie, the idea of lounging, of hanging out, of being part of a community,” Mary notes. “There’s a level of informality we really appreciate at the Source. You make your own rules here - in the building and at the bar. You come to socialize or to be alone, to be with a group or just with your date. Stay a little, stay a while and don’t feel obligated to think there are rules we will impose on you. You are our guest and all we want to do is make you happy,” she concludes.