Scene Setter

An ode to Opus Lounge

Before every bar in town added the Cosmo to its menu, before the choco martini grew as ubiquitous as the classic gin prototype, Opus Lounge was a haven for cocktail lovers.

Those who came to this King Street spot—and, indeed, those who come today—found not only a modern space with a laid-back vibe, but also a great place to bring a date or to meet up with friends.

Oh, and the drinks: specialty martinis and champagne cocktails created by staff and named after themselves and Opus regulars, from Natasha’s Forbidden Fruit and Butter Up Kim to Will’s Mojo and Brook’s Italian Lover.

Of course, other bars have since caught on to the cocktail craze, and Opus has made some changes, too, including drink specials, like two-for-one champagne cocktails on Mondays and half-price martini flights on Tuesdays.

But the bar’s mood and philosophy will never change, says owner Mandy Arnold. “The ambience is always great,” she says. “It’s really chill, really cozy.”

Katie Vaughn is associate editor of Madison Magazine.

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