Jersey Banks (right) and Lyon Porter ...

Historic Denver mansion gets new life as boutique hotel, bar and restaurant

The Western-inspired hotel brand Urban Cowboy is finally making its way out West with the announcement of a new boutique outpost in the heart of Denver.

Urban Cowboy will open its fourth hotel by the same name and its first location west of the Mississippi sometime in the first half of 2023, according to partners Lyon Porter and Jersey Banks, who was raised in Denver’s Highland neighborhood.

“It’s a homecoming for me,” Banks said. “I’m excited to bring our brand of hospitality to the city where I grew up… .”

Banks and Porter have partnered with GBX Group — the same real estate firm behind the Tom’s Diner preservation — to renovate the George Schleier mansion at 1665 Grant St., a three-story landmark that dates back to the 1880s and still maintains much of its original, ornate detail and architecture, though it’s been used over the past 30 years as office space.

Once open by spring 2023, the finished hotel, bar and restaurant should be reminiscent of Urban Cowboy’s second location, in East Nashville.

“We (re)did an 1800s, Victorian, Queen-Anne mansion in Nashville, with a carriage house,” Porter said. “But unlike Nashville, where we had to put a lot of character back in… this is one of those properties where we just have to be good stewards of it and really not mess it up. It’s truly a fall-in-love-with kind of building.”

The 18-room hotel will feature Urban Cowboy’s design hallmarks, such as free-standing clawfoot tubs in the guestrooms, custom patterned wallpapers and “found” objects from around Colorado. It should all work to create a sort of maximalist West aesthetic; think ’70s color palettes, plus lots of wood, brass and tufted leather accents.

A Parlor Bar by the downstairs lobby will sell wines by the glass, while the Public House inside a separate, two-story carriage house will specialize in house cocktails and a menu of wood-fired pies and small plates created by Roberta’s Pizza, based in Brooklyn.

“We really want to be a neighborhood watering hole and a place that people can go, not only if they’re visiting,” Porter said.

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