On February 14, pop-up extraordinaire Thrice will open a French Punk-themed event series celebrating rebellion and the universality of love through food, drink and design. Situated in a massive space on the Blake side of Dairy Block, the three-weekend event will use French Punk as a vehicle honoring resistance, anti-hate, anti-violence, anti-racism, anti-sexism and anti-homophobia that characterized the ’70s movement.
Opening on Valentine’s Day itself, the celebration will kick off with an Un-Valentine’s Day French Punk Drag Show, with Saturday and Sunday playing host to picnic-style drag brunches with food by Bruto and The Wolf’s Tailor chef Kelly Whitaker. Items including charcuterie, baguettes and mimosas will be served family-style. The four Queens — all former finalists from season two of Dragula — will be flown in specially for the opening events. The following weekend, the space will reopen as a French Punk Night Bazaar where patrons can sip on cocktails and shop for locally curated goods and rare finds. The last weekend in February will culminate in a Night Long Leap Year Party Closing Party.
Denver-based Thrice — the brainchild of founder and chief experience curator Abigail Plonkey — has been responsible for a range of inventive multi-sensory dining experiences including Uchi’s Chroma, the Korean barbecue and doll mash-up BarbieQ, a collaboration with Bar Helix for a negroni party at the Aspen Food and Wine Classic and the New Years Party at the Ramble Hotel. This time she will team up with Run For the Roses to bring a unique cocktail experience across two custom-built bars.
Plonkey’s all-encompassing designs make for truly immersive experiences, though she actively builds the event not to be stages for Instagram posturing. Grafitti, both inside and out culminates in a massive centerpiece with “Punk is not Dead” scrawled across the wall with all the appropriate grit. The exacting focus with which Plonkey approaches each event — including custom napkins, uniforms and other minutiae — have rendered her past events truly transporting. French Punk is no different. While the space draws a great deal of inspiration from the genre, Plonkey uses it primarily as a springboard for a mashed-up utopian vision inspired by history, pop culture, food and puns.
Plonkey intentionally does not recycle pop-up concepts in the same city — giving the already elaborate occurrences the added excitement of scarcity. But she would happily tour any of her existing concepts, having already set up a three-month residency for BarbieQ in Reno. While the space certainly takes jabs at the frou-frou of traditional Valentine’s celebrations, it does a good job of showing that the most sincere forms of love often come in jagged packages. Additionally, proceeds from the event will benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
French Punk will be located at 1855 Blake St., Suite 140. The brunches will take place Saturday, February 16 and Sunday, February 17 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Photos by Cori Anderson and Giacomo Di Franco and courtesy of the Dairy Block.