In case you didn't notice – though it could easily fade into the woodwork with the rest of downtown Denver's claustrophobic construction of late – Tom's Urban, the northeastern-most corner of Larimer Square, had brown paper lining the windows and its doors locked for two weeks. The diner reopened last Monday after a few kitchen maintenance fixes and menu add-ons.
A Facebook post from Sept. 24th read: "Tom's Urban will be temporarily closed for improvements until Oct. 10. We apologize for the inconvenience."
"We had some issues that we needed to repair," said Tom Ryan – the namesake co-founder of Tom's Urban, Smashburger in 2007, and whose claim to fame was inventing Pizza Hut's stuffed-crust pizzas. He said that Tom's vintage building required flooring updates in the kitchen, which made for good timing to unveil a number of menu revisions when the space reopened.
The menu intends to provide "familiar foods with a spin," along with "discoveries," or more unusual fare customers may be enticed to try. The "WTF" menu – which Ryan calls: "What's this food?" for the PG-13 crowd – newly includes fried frog legs, a ghost pepper BBQ chicken pizza, and more. More new items available as of last week – of the 20-something additions – include more slider varieties, including a shrimp po' boy, hand-breaded on a toasted brioche bun, prime rib sliders, buffalo chicken sliders, and a truffled cracked lobster slider, launched in Los Angeles. Despite the health food craze, noting piqued interest, Tom's added a pickle-brined Nashville hot country fried chicken to the menu.
The space – 1460 Larimer Street – originally opened in 2012, as Tom's Urban 24 – one of the few round-the-clock restaurants in downtown Denver; however, the 24-7 schedule was cut roughly a year ago. This location, is one of three Tom's in the U.S. operated by the Consumer Concept Group, which also runs Smashburger, and Live Basil chains.Tom's L.A. branch also underwent a recent closure for a few days, reopening with 75 shiny new TV screens to the delight of sports fans.
For Eater readers who visit Tom's, pass along the EaterDenver20 code to receive 20 percent off through Oct. 25.