The end of summer and beginning of fall means many things for Denver — beer festivals, fall menus, and a lot of new restaurants — more restaurants than in years before, all ranging from exciting sandwich shops, taquerias, to modern American eateries, and everything in between. The group of restaurants that are about to take our city by storm in coming months are worth keeping an eye out for and celebrating. Here now, in the order of anticipated opening are 14 flashy restaurant and two brewery previews, as well as some other attractions to look forward to the rest of the year.
Address: 3350 Brighton Boulevard
Major Players: Rayme Rossello, owner and operator, founder of Comida as a food truck and Comida Cantina Longmont. Rossello was one of the founding parters of Proto's Pizza. Chris Stackpole, with whom Rossello has worked on and off for the last ten years, will serve as general manager. In the kitchen, guests will find Martin Campos, head chef, and Josh Cosgrove, sous chef. Sarah Smith is the restaurant's pastry chef while Shawn Williams, who spent the last two and a half years at El Diablo, serves as bar manager.
The Scoop: Comida at the Source is a 2700 square foot taqueria and cantina. This is the sister restaurant to the Longmont location in Prospect and the product of one very hard-working taco truck named Tina that started operating in May of 2010. The restaurant promises one of the best patios in Denver and some of the best views as well. Comida will be open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. til 10 p.m. Brunch may be forthcoming.
Opening Date: August 29
Address: 3350 Brighton Boulevard
Major Players: Chef Steven Redzikowski and beverage director Bryan Dayton, the team behind the acclaimed OAK at Fourteenth in Boulder. Chef Amos Watts previously of Jax and Cyrus, will be in the kitchen as well and Melissa Durant, formerly of Old Major and the Green Russell will serve behind the bar.
The Scoop: In its space at the Source, Acorn will serve chef Redzikowski's eclectic American cooking in an approachable, family-friendly format, alongside Bryan Dayton's ingredient-driven cocktails, as well as a curated selection of artisan wines and beers. Like its sister restaurant in Boulder, an oak-fired oven and grill stands as the focal point and foundation for the dishes served at Acorn. In addition to the main floor dining room, guests can take a seat at the 15-seat bar opposite the open kitchen or dine in the 30-seat mezzanine space which overlooks the kitchen and chef's counter. Cement and graffiti accents and Emeco seating made from recycled Coca Cola bottles, give the space an urban, eclectic feel, while the marble tabletops, leather banquettes and well-appointed lighting provide an elegant counterpoint.
Projected Opening Date: First week of September
Address: 3496 West 32nd Avenue
Major Players: Owners Nate Opper and Zak Melang, based in Seattle, are the restaurateurs, craftsmen and collectors who have had their eyes on Denver for the past five years. Opper and Melang personally helped create and design much of the Matador's signature décor including its detailed metal and woodwork. Opper oversees menu development under the direction of chef Joe Rieke. Denver restaurant veterans Mark Giuffrida and Frank Forbeau will lend their expertise to the Matador Denver, as general manager and chef respectively.
The Scoop: Set in the former Heidi's Deli space, the Matador will showcase reclaimed Colorado barnwood, handcrafted inlaid tables, collected vintage lighting, ornate metalwork, an interior fire pit and Mexican hacienda inspired décor. An elaborate bar with newly added expansive windows will offer a bird's eye view of Lowell Boulevard and showcase a personally curated collection of over 100 superior tequilas. On the food side, the eatery will highlight locally sourced produce, house-made marinades, rubs and sauces, along with coffee, bread and desserts from Denver-based Dazbog Coffee, Denver Bread Company, and Little Man Ice Cream.
Projected Opening Date: Mid-September
Address: 1700 Humboldt Street
Major Players: Concept Restaurants, a restaurant group that also owns and operates Ignite,Via Baci, Woody's Wood-Fire Tavern, and more. The restaurant brings together industry veterans Frank and Gina Day, Kevin Brown, Dianna Lynn, Sean Huggard and Brion Boyer. DJ Nagel will serve as executive chef, while Kollin Gately will serve as sous chef.
The Scoop:Humboldt promises to transform the space previously occupied by Strings into a vibrant farm, fish, and wine eatery that will serve chef-inspired and reinterpreted classics, a fresh oyster menu, seasonal fresh salads, small plates for sharing as well as entrees featuring sustainable seafood, all natural steaks, and more.
Projected Opening Date: Early fall
STE. ELLIE and VIANDE
Address: 1553 Platte Street
Major Players: Chef/owner Nelson Perkins, bar manager Kevin Burke, chef Jenna Hodges, and chef Kyle Foster.
The Scoop: It's been a long time coming, but it appears that Ste. Ellie, a speakeasy/cocktail parlor, along with Viande, a cured meats concept, will open this fall. Guests can expect an extended dining room for Colt & Gray, a private dining space, and a charcuterie production center — all under the same roof. The menu will not be extensive but the few dishes that will be served will complement the beverage program, which Burke promises will be irresistible.
Projected Opening Date: Early October
Address:Wells Fargo Center, 1710 Sherman
Major Players:Chef Justin Brunson of Masterpiece Deli LoHi, Old Major, and Denver Bacon Company, Steve Allee of Masterpiece Deli LoHi, Eric Clayman co-founder of Denver Bacon Company, and Casey Taylor, chef de cuisine at Masterpiece LoHi, now the director of operations for the Masterpiece brand.
The Scoop:At 2,609 square feet, Masterpiece Deli Uptown will triple the amount of space available at Masterpiece Deli LoHi to allow for 50 seats indoor and 40 seats outdoor, with a four-season covered and heated patio. Unlike Masterpiece Deli LoHi, Masterpiece Deli Uptown will focus closely on an extensive business lunch program with a large grab-and-go section, catered boxed lunches program, and same-day downtown delivery, to meet the need of the busy professional. Masterpiece Deli Uptown will be open Monday thru Friday for breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and weekend brunch in the future.
Projected Opening Date: Early October
OLIVE & FINCH
Address: 1552 East 17th Avenue
Major Players:Mary Nguyen, chef/owner at Parallel Seventeen and Street Kitchen Asian Bistro. Leslie Melland, sous chef at Street Kitchen Asian Bistro, has been tapped as pastry chef.
The Scoop: Olive & Finch is an eatery, bakery and market. Specialties will include pastries made from scratch, artisan sandwiches and soups, salads, fresh pressed juices, a coffee bar, all with a focus on healthy options for those with allergies. Olive & Finch will also feature handcrafted items for the table - linens, dishware, and more -as well as prepared foods for takeout. Curbside delivery, catering, boxed breakfast and lunches in addition to holiday menu planning and preparation will also be available. The 1,500 square foot space holding 55 seats was designed by Zar Designs, with interior design by Mary Nguyen herself.
Projected Opening Date: Mid-October
Address: 1518 South Pearl Street
Major Players: Lisa Ruskaup - Director of Concepts, Breckenridge-Wynkoop, Chris Cina- executive director of culinary, Breckenridge-Wynkoop, Scott Parker - executive chef, Session Kitchen (formerly at Table 6), Ken Kodys - head of beverage, Breckenridge-Wynkoop, Ed Cerovnik - owner of Breckenridge Brewery, Lee Driscoll - owner of Wynkoop Brewery.
The Scoop:Session Kitchen is about globally inspired cuisine with innovative portioning. The restaurant will feature farm-fresh, seasonal fare served in iron-clad cookware and meant to be shared with friends after a day well lived. The casual, east-meets-west environment will include three separate architectural areas and eight permanent, original art installations that will showcase both local and international street artists. Eighteen taps of craft cocktails, beer, and wines will be served throughout the restaurant and at three bars.
Projected Opening Date: Late October
Address: 2020 Lawrence Street
Major Players: Mario Nocifera, owner, Alex Figura, chef. Nocifera's work history includes Fruition; Frasca Food and Wine, Pizzeria Locale, Caffe; Michael Mina and the Ritz Carlton, San Francisco. Figura's resume includes a tenure at Philadelphia's Vetri and Osteria restaurants, a stint with Dan Barber at Blue Hill at Stone Barns; Frasca Food and Wine, and a stage at El Celler de Can Roca, three-star Michelin, in Girona, Spain.
The Scoop:Lower48 is a contemporary American restaurant that receives its inspiration from the lower 48 states. The eatery will have 62 seats with a 26-seat private dining room, 30 seat patio and a full service bar, which can seat 22 guests. Bonus: Service Bar, located adjacent to Lower 48, will seat 30 and act more like a friends' living room than a bar.
Projected Opening Date: Early November
Address: 2445 Larimer Street
Major Player: Troy Guard - Chef/Owner of TAG, TAG RAW Bar & TAG Burger Bar
The Scoop:Los Chingones, which loosely translated means "bad asses," is chef Troy Guard's new 4,800 square foot Mexican concept. The newly built space will feature a 90- seat rooftop bar and open main floor dining room, serving bold, flavorful, Guard-style twists on shareable Mexican favorites. Los Chingones will serve lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, and dinner on Saturday and Sunday. The space was designed by XAN Creative, a local company that has also worked on Snooze, ACE, and Marco's Coal-Fired Pizza.
Projected Opening Date: Late November
Address: 2445 Larimer Street
Major Players:Sugarmill is being opened by current TAG pastry chef, Noah French, along with Troy Guard, right next door to Los Chingones.
The Scoop:The 25-seat dessert lounge with chef's counter will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, serving savory dishes and specializing in desserts, pastries and sweets including French's now-famous chocolate sphere dessert filled with cake, nuts and vanilla cream served topped with hot caramel, custom cakes and a variety of new confections. XAN Creative is handling the design. Sneak peeks should be available on the eatery's website by November 1.
Projected Opening Date: Late November
WORK & CLASS
Address: 2500 Larimer Street
Major Players: Delores Tronco- owner/chief operating officer, Tony Maciag-owner/general manager, Dana Rodriguez- owner/chef. Delores Tronco's background is as a strategic communications consultant. She left that job to open Euclid Hall as a manager and continued her path in the service industry by forming the Justice League of Street Food and going on to work at Steuben's, Vesta, and Ace. Tony Maciag is a veteran of the restaurant industry, having put in 20+ years in Denver alone. Some of his most memorable stints have been at Panzano (bar manager), Mel's (bar manager), Rioja (bartender), and Euclid Hall (general manager). Dana Rodriguez AKA Loca moved to Denver 13 years ago and started work as a dishwasher at Panzano where she first met Maciag. Rodriguez worked her way up the ranks, became the sous chef at Rioja and later became the chef de cuisine at Bistro Vendome.
The Scoop:Work & Class is a reflection of the working class roots that Tony, Dana, and Delores come from. As a restaurant, Work & Class can be described as "a square meal, a stiff drink, and a fair price." The menu will be broken into several categories: the Meats, the Sides, This Looks Like Leaves, the Breads, and the Sweets. Hispanic and American-South influences will be found in the food. The design is industrial, and fits well into the building (which is made from 29 recycled shipping containers) as a whole.
Projected Opening Date:November 30
THE POST BREWERY AND GOODBIRD KITCHEN
Address: 105 W. Emma St., Lafayette
Major Players: Dave Query, chef/owner, Bryan Selders, brewmaster, and Brett Smith – chef/partner. Query runs the Big Red F Restaurant Group that operates nine restaurants along the front range. Bryan Selders hails from the Philadelphia and most recently worked with Dogfish Head Brewery as their Head Brewer. Brett Smith, born and raised in Wappinger falls in the beautiful Hudson Valley of NY, realized his passion for cooking when he moved to Boulder and started working at Jax Fish House. He worked his way up the ladder of the Big Red F and currently leads the kitchen of Zolo Grill.
The Scoop:With over 8000 square feet of space, and an additional 4500 of "back yard," the Post will feature a full bar, beer garden, and comfortable dining room. Architect Jim Bray will lead the project bringing twenty years of brew-pub design to the space. The Post will be a concept centered around serving hot chicken and fresh cold beer. Chef Smith refers to the cuisine as Colorado Comfort Food, "food cooked with the love of your grandma and the skill of trained chefs, unless of course your grandma was a trained chef, and then she'd be the most bad-ass grandma of all time." The mainstays will include rotisserie and fried chicken, traditional roadhouse platters, daily specials with many accompanying seasonal sides. There will be other options as well. The Post plans on opening with six handles of Post Brew; more will be added.
Projected Opening Date: Shortly after Thanksgiving
THE KITCHEN NEXT DOOR AT CITY SET
Address: 650 S. Colorado Boulevard
Major Players: Kimbal Musk and Hugo Matheson, co-founders and chef-owners and Nick Doyle, executive general manager. Doyle previously ran all the Rio Grande restaurants across Colorado. The kitchen team will come from the existing team of the Kitchen but has not yet been decided.
The Scoop:This will be the second location of the Kitchen Next Door, a community pub, that started in Boulder next to its sister restaurant, the Kitchen. The eatery will serve natural and organic food and wine, and local craft beers, in a fun and warm atmosphere. The most exciting new part of the Kitchen Next Door in CitySet will be an outdoor beer garden on the second floor.
Projected Opening Date:by the end of the year.
Two breweries seem to attract cult-like followings and demand inclusion on this list: Crooked Stave and Former Future Brewing Company.
Address:3350 Brighton Boulevard
Major Player: Chad Yakobson, owner and brewmaster. Yakobson, who previously served as the master brewer at Odell and whose formal training in in wine, is the poster child for the sour beers and, more precisely the Brettanomyces, a wild funky yeast referred to as "Brett." He has championed this yeast that was common before the late 19th century and has highlighted its special notes - fruity, earthy, spicy funk in many of his beers creating tastes that remind of Belgian-inspired saisons and Belgian lambics and building up what will likely be a whole new category of American beers.
The Scoop:In the new location at the Source, Crooked Stave will increase its production and will allow for more interaction with the public through its taproom. The twenty-barrel pilot brewery will include less-known equipment, like a coolship, a simple piece of equipment that brewers used for hundreds of years -- but that somehow seemed to go out of style.
Projected Opening Date: Late September
FORMER FUTURE BREWING COMPANY
Address: 1290 South Broadway
Major Players: James and Sarah Howat. James serves as founder and chief beer officer. He has a BS in Microbiology from Colorado State University and is a former high school science teacher. Sarah is a founder and community builder for the brewery. She holds a BS in Marketing from Metro State College of Denver and has 10+ years work experience in the restaurant, bar, and club world.
The Scoop:The 2700 square foot brewery and taproom will focus on reinventing historical ideas, combining them with futuristic innovation, and making them better than they ever were. Designed by FinArt (most recently completed an install at the new Root Down at DIA, the space aims to transport the customer to a place embodying the past, the present, and the future.
Projected Opening Date: Early to mid-October- the aim is to pour beer before the Great American Beer Festival.
There are at least eight other breweries opening in Denver before the Great American Beer Festival, according to Cafe Society. Find them here.
And if you are already exhausted just looking at this list, there will be plenty of coffee in the next few months. Keep your eyes open for the reopening of Aviano Coffee at 244 Detroit Street, Corvus Coffee at 1740 S. Broadway, and a new location of Novo Coffee at 1700 East Sixth Avenue, next door to Satchel's on Sixth. Boulder-based Boxcar Coffee Roasters will open a second Denver location at the Source.
More than coffee, look out for a new Snarf's right on Broadway and Larimer, another location of the Denver Biscuit Company and Atomic Cowboy in the former Crimson Canary space, and reopening of El Chingon in a new location at 4326 Tennyson Street in Berkeley. Kelly Whitaker of Basta is also planning to open a casual yet-to-be-named restaurant in the same complex as Work & Class.
As 2014 approaches, Sarto's, a new eatery from chef Brian Laird will prepare to open at 2900 West 25th Avenue in the growing Jefferson Park neighborhood.
· Snarf's Will Add New Locations By the Fall [EDen]
· Atomic Cowboy Coming to the Crimson Canary Space [EDen]
· El Chingon Mexican Bistro Will Open on Tennyson Street [EDen]
· Novo Coffee Is Now Brewing in Downtown Denver [EDen]
· Troy Guard to Open a Taqueria and a Dessert Restaurant in RiNo [EDen]
· Most Anticipated Openings of 2013 [EDen]
Disclosure: the author of this post is married to Kyle Zeppelin, one of the developers behind the Source.