A few nights ago, a friend and I were debating whether to go to Elements Kitchen (and its swanky bar) or drop in to Monopole Wine before a movie. We were more in the mood for wine and reasoned that newcomer Monopole would be a better choice.
Wrong. But it looked okay at first. I admired the logo, the space (formerly Zoe pilates), the wine selection, and the nice displays. We walked through the well-stocked wine shop to a small table; the bar, even further back, was full of a convivial, noisy group – a good sign, I thought. Not wanting a flight of wine, we selected a glass apiece – interesting little wines from Spain and Paso Robles. And when I say “little,” I mean it – the pour was decidedly ungenerous (I estimate about two ounces). It wasn’t that the glass was oversize (it was) but that the amount – for $11 – was underwhelming, even insulting. It came with a lot of hovering (by all three or four – or was it more? I lost count — guys in charge). After a while we were offered some second-rate-airline-level crackers covered with industrial cheese dust (why was the happy group at the bar enjoying cheese? BYOC?). There was just a general lack of hospitality. I hate to think it was because we were two women – I prefer to think of it as how they are, or at least were that night. I may never know, because at this point I’ll never return.
Other wine bars in town (Colorado Wine Co., Noir, Heritage, Mission, even the slightly attitudey Vertical) and other places to drink wine (Malbec, Gale’s, Bistro 45, insert your favorite here) are fun places, where the staff engages you, the mood is infectious, and the wine runs freely (it’s in their best interest as a shop to give you a lot, to encourage you to buy a bottle or a case). But I found Monopole to be cold, calculating and disinterested in me as a once or future patron. When it came time to buy a gift certificate for a wine-loving friend (the next week), I went to Mission Wine. And I’m going to choose that good-looking bar at Elements next time, whether I’m in the mood for wine or a martini.