Last night, to an audience of taste-makers, business people, and elected officials, RootDown unveiled its new space in Concourse C of the Denver International Airport. The interior is eclectic and attractive, the food in line with the farm-to-fork practices that diners have become accustomed to at the LoHi location, and the bar program is simply irresistible.
The 4,000 square-foot space designed by architect Ted Schultz in close collaboration with RootDown's owner Justin Cucci brings together sustainable practices as well as retro design aspects reminiscent of airports in the 1960s. The décor incorporates recycled elements like a lighted-globe chandelier, repurposed basketball court flooring, a living wall of herbs and liquor racks made from vintage luggage. The design is sensual and organic with curved pods and booths for dining and terraced seating for lounging, accommodating the solo traveler as well as groups who want to socialize.
Executive chef Shoni Jones, who transitioned from Linger, Root Down's sister restaurant, will oversee the Root Down DIA kitchen. Three menus are available for dinner, brunch/lunch and take-out with many dishes and drinks found at the original Root Down. All three menus feature an abundance of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options that use locally farmed, sustainable and organic ingredients as much as possible. Bartender Mike Henderson, who runs the beverage program for Linger and RootDown, has brought some of his best drinks down to the airport. Highlights include the BeetDown, Coconut Fizz, and the Pepper Blossom.
So, how does a restaurant like RootDown land at DIA? It took a strong partnership with Rod Tafoya of Mission Yogurt, Inc. a company that owns and operates food and beverage concepts in airports, and the Denver International Airport. Cucci was approached with the opportunity and he saw no choice but to say yes. "I knew it was an opportunity not to pass up," he said. "DIA is incredibly forward-thinking in bringing Root Down, along with other local restaurants, into the airport to provide travelers the same type of unique experience they can find in downtown Denver," he added. For his part, Tafoya expressed his dedication to supporting local Colorado businesses. "We are dedicated to providing travelers with food we'd want to eat ourselves, and Root Down is yet one more location that will make our guests' dining experiences at DIA top-notch," he explained. "Our customers are seeking a greater mix of healthy dining options, which Root Down delivers," said Kim Day, Denver's Manager of Aviation.
Starting on Monday, the product of that collaboration, a brand new restaurant in Concourse C, will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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· Airport Dining: Udi's Cafe Opens at DIA [EDen]
· Eater Guides: Where to Eat at Denver International Airport [EDen]