Kevin Taylor's Rouge a treat for opera patrons

Thursday, June 16, 2011


It might seem like a rogue concept, but Rouge (pronounced like the women’s makeup), the steakhouse in Central City’s historic Teller House, opens annually for dinner only on Central City Opera’s scheduled performance dates.

Staffing and serving for such a short window – eight weeks starting June 25 – sounds counter-intuitive for the restaurant business, which relies on building a regular clientele.

Call him crazy, but Denver chef and restaurant company owner Kevin Taylor takes the challenge in stride. And, unless gas prices soar to $4 a gallon which discourages car travel, Taylor said it should be business as usual this season.

“Typically the patrons of Central City Opera go there for dinner before a performance,” he said. “The menu is definitely lower pricing (than restaurants with similar menus in Denver), but the quality still has to be there for them.”

Rouge’s season debut coincides with Central City Opera’s opening night of “Carmen,” combined with the Yellow Rose Ball, a 75-year-old tradition for debutantes that dates back to Central City’s mining days.

At press time, Taylor was still tweaking the Rouge menu that typically includes, steaks, chops, and some fish.

The Face Bar, the other Taylor-run eatery in the same building, serves lunch and dinner six days a week (closed Mondays). The Face Bar menu includes sandwiches, salads and burgers.

For Rouge reservations, call 303-582-0600.

Bed and Bunch. Ready to let your inner soiled dove and dandy Dan out?

Join Central City revelers beginning at noon tomorrow (June 18) for the annual Lou Bunch Day, a costume contest, parade, food fest and musical event that pays homage to the town’s bawdy days.

Bed races, which pit teams against each other sheet to sheet, starts at 3 p.m. sharp. Filling the timeslot between the bed races and the Madams and Miners Ball at 8 p.m., party on at Money Off the Ceiling inside the historic Gold Coin Bar.

The day of competition and frivolity concludes with the Madams and Miners Ball, hosted by Century Casino, with contests for Madam, Dandy Dan or Sporting House Girl of the year.

“It’s a constant party,” said Sandra Hines, Lou Bunch Day coordinator and chief party animal.

Bicycle bunch. Also on Saturday, 2,000 cyclists will gather in Central City and head toward Estes Park for the 17th Annual Bicycle Tour of Colorado, a loop that routes through Granby, Steamboat Springs, Glenwood Springs, Frisco and ends in Central City.

After climbing Rocky Mountain passes, traversing the Continental Divide and chilling out in hot springs pools, the cyclists will end the tour with a fiesta on June 25 – the same day as the opening of Central City Opera.

Asian persuasion. Orchid Garden, the new Asian eatery in the walkway connecting The Isle with Lady Luck casinos in Black Hawk, has opened replacing the old Kitt’s restaurant with a traditional Chinese and Vietnamese menu.

The extensive menu includes everything from hot and sour soup to whole Maine lobster stir-fried three ways. Check it out at

- Penny Parker is a columnist for The Denver Post. She’s always on the prowl for tidbits and tips from Colorado’s gaming communities. Call her at 303-619-5209 or e-mail

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