Since 1997, Vesta’s design has remained a timeless example of how vital the ambiance is to the overall guest experience.
Vesta, the Goddess of the Hearth, was used as design inspiration to create a dining destination and experience unique to Denver. Themes of warmth, sensuality and dreams helped to create the handcrafted industrial design. Roth Sheppard Architects and GOOG Industrial Design combined talents to create Vesta’s many artistic features.
The mythological Six Vestal Virgins that protected the symbolic flame are seen in an abstract sculpture at the host stand and in repeated steel sculptures holding up the standing bar, the concrete bar, the front awning, and the soffit over the bar. Six orange blown glass light fixtures stand on the bar resemble the flame. Curved booths, penetrating design features, open flames from the exposed grill and fabric light fixtures soften the industrial design and bring a sensuality and warmth to the space that complements the soundtrack and food that makes Vesta.
A GOOG designed and custom-built Sangria dispenser is an eye-catching piece at the front end of the bar. Custom made menus and skewers by Leonard Wolkon, steel sculpture by Aurelio Madrid, custom bar stools, copper napkin rings, and XAN Creative designed bathrooms round out a restaurant where no detail was left untouched.
After 14 years, Vesta still feels fresh, hip, and timeless. The architectural, interior, and industrial design of Vesta sets the tone for the worldly, bold and exotic flavors that define the Vesta dining experience. Vesta was a winner of the American Institute of Architecture’s Award for Design in 1997. Korn Design won an honorable mention from HOW magazine for the branding and graphic design package for Vesta.
The building that houses Vesta dates back to the early 1900’s. It was originally, and appropriately, The Millar Spice Factory and Coffee Company. A historical photo of the building can be found hanging in the hallway leading to the restrooms. During construction old spice cans from Millar were found in the basement and since opening, a few old workers from the Spice Company have returned to the building to see its latest incarnation. They have provided us with additional heirlooms of the Millar Spice Company, which can be seen hanging from the wood columns through out the restaurant.
Like many buildings in Lower Downtown, Vesta was a vacant warehouse space up until 1997 when Vesta moved in. Prior to the Wynkoop Brewery’s opening in LoDo and the opening of Coors Field in 1995, there was little reason to visit this somewhat sketchy section of Denver. Since then, hundreds of restaurants and bars have opened and thousands of residential lofts have transformed LoDo into Denver’s premier entertainment district. Vesta was one of the first urban, artistic, local, culinary focused, and unique restaurants to open in LoDo. Today it stands as one of a handful of restaurants that have remained open for over a decade in the Denver area.