Eric & Erika Turner | Owner—Managers at Absinthe House
Some time ago I came across Absinthe House. It’s a place that inspires a European feel in many aspects: it’s very casual, trendsetting, and classy all the while. It felt like a home far away from home and a year after its discovery, and I finally got meet the owners.
Meet Eric and Erika Turner. They own and manage Absinthe House, which makes it one of the very few genuine ‘mom & pop’ businesses in Boulder. It’s tempting to think there’s a corporate influence here, due to worth of the prime location, exclusive roof deck, and spacious decor, but a deeper look shows that Absinthe has really grown from a family passion for hospitality and entertainment. Those scuffs on the dance floor don’t come from ladies’ heels as they dance through the night. Nope. The scratches come from boys’ skateboards – the Absinthe is an informal meeting spot for an ‘after-school mom’s club‘ and is hailed as the coolest underground skate park in Boulder for Eric and Erika sons, Diego and Maximiliano. Meanwhile, their daughter Zoe can’t imagine a better place to get in a quick game of hide-and-seek with her dad.
However, the Turners had not always imagined hosting their own bar and music venue. Eric worked for Club Med resorts for 13 years, where his most important job was as the head of sports activities for guests. He was working in Bahía de Kino in the Sonora region of Mexico when he met his beloved Erika. At the time, Erika was yearning for a break from the urban chaos of her home in Mexico City and was welcomed into the resort village as an au pair. The exposure to hospitality awakened Erika’s calling and compelled her to look for ways to stay aboard. In fact, she later became an integrative gentile organizer — someone who manages the branches of staff members who plan events for guests.
After a string of lifelong memories and enrichment in the field of hospitality, the Turners sought to settle down. After living in Australian islands and the Dominican Republic for a stint, Eric’s native Colorado became their new home. Some years after their move to the mountains, they heard about a prime spot in downtown Boulder opening up for rent. “It was an opportunity to put our two favorite concepts under one roof — to bring a restaurant and nightclub together,” said Eric before adding:
It’s much better than the hotel biz, because at night when you go home from work there are still people in the hotel, so there could still be problems. Here you know that when you close the doors you can get a good night’s rest
The two help their staff fulfill duties at the nightclub and they’re energetic about being active in all the roles at Absinthe House. Those roles include designing the menu, cooking, cleaning, managing staff schedules, keeping the books, and growing their business. As if that weren’t enough, Eric also DJs on some Saturday nights playing house music, his favorite genre. At the time of this writing, he is in Paris honoring a special invitation to entertain French house music fans with his skills.
Eric and Erika are quick to admit that their dreams for hosting entertainment have materialized thanks to the relationships they nurtured and created over the years. “One of the things I think that’s great about the Boulder 2140 is the networking part. I don’t think enough can be said about how important it is to just get out there and meet people,” affirmed Eric before adding some extra advice.
Take risks. There are so many things that don’t happen, like innovations, because people were too afraid to follow through. You’re never going to get anywhere if you don’t try stuff
- Take kids to school between 8.00am and 8.30am
- Place and receive orders until the afternoon
- Close doors 2.00am, includes ushering guests out and counting sales
- Get home between 3.30am and 4.00am
Many challenges have come about since the Turners acquired Absinthe House just over a year ago. Their current goal is to stabilize after the costs that came with some misconceptions they about their marketing strategy and niche. Some ideas have flourished and others will need to be reworked. Erika provides some useful insight: “Even when things are hard, keep trying against the odds if there’s a passion. Persevere!”
Absinthe House opened its doors to clientele in August 2010 after the pair of entrepreneurs renovated the property. As such, the Turners have made me believe they’re planning something very special to celebrate their upcoming two-year anniversary. Will Absinthe play host to the house music festival of the decade? We’ll have to wait and see…
But there’s no need to wait until August to enjoy a great party at the Absinthe House. We’re excited to announce an exciting event coming up much sooner than that – Eric and Erika have partnered with the young professionals at Boulder 2140 to provide a vibrant venue for our Membership Launch Party on May 23rd. We hope our strong dedication to offer Boulder’s young professionals an energetic and valuable network will entice new members to join and current friends to renew. Plus, we’ve got several amazing gift baskets to give away and Absinthe house is designing a mystery drink just for the Boulder 2140 Membership Launch Party! Perhaps it will be laced with the mysterious green spirit that is the club’s namesake. You’ll have to join us to find out!