A neighborhood favorite for Sunnyside residents – Ernie’s Bar & Pizza – is now open under a new name – Earnest Hall. The pizza joint closed over a year ago to repair hail damage and renovations took a bit longer than anticipated, then City Street Investors – the investment company that owns the restaurant – got an offer for the building while it was closed that ended up falling through which took up several months of negotiating. Partners Joe Vostrejs and Sterling Robinson decided that more needed to be done to the space in order to successfully reopen and breathe new life into it and the neighborhood. Robinson – who is also a partner at Billy’s Inn and Officer’s Club Lowry – started at Ernie’s a few months prior to the closure with the goal of reimagining the space. “We wanted to keep all the things that were really special about Ernie’s and improve our ability to serve the community,” said Robinson.
While many of the same aspects of Ernie’s remain – the ownership, the long bar, most of the recipes and the pizza – there are a few new additions that modernize the space. First, there is now a coffee bar in the back where customers can get coffee, pastries and to-go breakfast items like burritos and sandwiches. This also means that Earnest Hall now opens at 6 a.m. and customers can grab a booth to sit and work for the day.
“We wanted it to be available morning, noon and night so all of the benches are piped with USB ports and electrical outlets,” said Robinson. Second, the space is much more open and filled with picnic tables to encourage communal dining. “You can arrive with a large party and not have an issue finding seating for everyone,” Robinson said. The goal of the new space is to provide a place that neighbors and visitors can come at anytime of day to gather, drink a coffee or collaborate.
The lunch and dinner items include an array of appetizers, soups, salads, pastas, sandwiches and pizza. Notable appetizers include wings ($11), calamari ($11), meatballs ($10) and fried ravioli ($9). The menu also has a diverse selection for those with dietary restrictions and denotes vegetarian items along with the option to order a gluten-free pizza crust. During happy hour – which runs from 2 to 6 p.m. daily – you’ll be able to order pizza by the slice for just $3, $1 off all appetizers, $4.50 well drinks, $3.50 beers and $6 glasses of house wine. “We tried to keep it as consistent as we could but also make it more efficient in order to do the volume we hope to,” stated Robinson.
With a new look, new offerings and updated hours Earnest Hall hopes to become the go-to gathering space among locals. The casual yet elegant atmosphere provides the perfect ambiance for working, grabbing a beer with friends or going on a date at any time of day.
Stay up to date on happenings by following Earnest Hall on Instagram. The Earnest Hall Coffeehouse is open 6 a.m.- 9 p.m. daily and the restaurant is open Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. and Friday – Saturday 11 a.m.- 11 p.m. It is located at 2915 West 44th Avenue, Denver.