At 24 years of age, chef Preston Phillips is likely the youngest new restaurant owner in Denver. His eatery, Grind Kitchen and Watering Hole, opened at 300 Fillmore Street in an updated garden level space that last housed Pikkas Peruvian Cuisine and Pisco Bar. Phillips added contemporary and industrial elements to the space, including reclaimed cedar barn wood with threaded metal roads.
Coming from a family that owned quick-serve restaurants in Birmingham, Alabama, Phillips went to culinary school in Tampa then headed for Colorado where he first landed at Alfalfa's Market. He most recently served as sous chef at 24 Carrot Bistro in Erie.
"Everyone has a daily grind," the chef says, talking about naming his business. "It is the daily grind of work, family, kids. For us in restaurants it is the hospitality grind. I liked the play on words - we are grinding our own meats and we are also grinding back there constantly to make sure that we give our guests the best experience."
The menu at Grind is that of a new American restaurant that is committed to good ingredients, comfort cuisine, and pushing the culinary envelope just a touch for the more adventurous diner. There are small plates, including pot stickers, lamb meatballs, and fried Brussels sprouts, soups and salads like the posole and a beet salad, and a variety of approachable sandwiches and main dishes ranging from a double cheeseburger and fried chicken to a pork belly banh mi and a duck entree two ways.
"It is very important to me that the food program and bar program go together. We have our house sodas, our craft cocktails, a good whiskey section, and of course beer and wine," Phillips shares. "We want to give our guests a great experience and pair our dishes with great drinks.
The bar at the Cherry Creek spot is managed by Jake Baxton. In the kitchen, Phillips brought on as right hand man Ashley Free, whose resume includes a stint at Eleven Madison Park. The pastry program by chef Claire Fields who previously worked at Sugarmill.
This week, Grind will only serve dinner but starting next week, the new spot will serve lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Brunch may be added at a later time.