The Kitchen Next Door is officially open today at Union Station. Guests at the new Crawford Hotel get a peek from above inside the space from hallways that lead to their rooms and travelers going through Union Station can stop in on the South wing of the building for a bite and a drink.
The fresh space is part of the renovation of the train station and it was executed with assistance from local design firm Semple Brown. Transforming the interior involved a number of respectful, yet creative interventions within the soaring 18-foot-high space.
Highlights include restoration of the original exterior fabric and 13-foot tall windows, uncovering drywall-enclosed structural supports to reveal beautiful cast iron columns, and discovering the signage from a 1930s Union Station restaurant brought back to life as a central interior element today.
Above the bar sits that sign reminding guests of the history of the building. Its origin dates back to the Continental Room and Caboose Lounge. When the lounge closed its doors, a casino up in Black Hawk acquired the sign and it lived there for nearly three decades. Just two years ago, with the renovation of Union Station underway, RTD (the Regional Transportation District) bought back the sign from the casino. The Kitchen's founders Hugo Matheson and Kimbal Musk got acquainted with the sign when it was in a state of disrepair. They offered to restore it and have it on loan to hang in The Kitchen Next Door. Part of the restoration of the historic sign included converting the lights to LEDs. It will soon be wired and will be lit-up.
The color palette and materials used inside the space are simple and subdued, creating an inviting environment for enjoying simple, well-prepared food. Shades of green, gray, and blue, as well as natural wood colors dominate the interior. Among the materials used are reclaimed Douglas Fir, unfinished Colorado Pine tables, handmade recycled ceramic tile, sparkling-glass, tufted upholstery and wood-framed seating, as well as lighting and trim work designed to honor this historic building in a time appropriate manner.
What's on the menu? The same offerings that the Kitchen Next Door has accustomed its guests with at its two other locations, the original in Boulder and the highly popular outpost in Glendale. Among the highlights, kale chips, garlic smashers, a great Beet Burger, and irresistible fish & chips. A wide selection of craft beers and wine on tap is available alongside cocktails, sodas, and more.
Special amenities unique to Next Door Union Station include hotel take-out service, and a central bar the owners recently discovered closely replicates the original Union Station lunchroom bar once in the same location.
The restaurant is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until close. For more information, call 720.460.3730.