Following a path paved by The Source, Denver Central Market, Avanti Food & Beverage, Union Station, and Stanley Marketplace, a new multi-purpose eatery opens today in the Lower Highlands.
Only The Bindery is nowhere near the size and scope of its Denver market and dining hall predecessors; its most likely comparison is Union Station’s Mercantile Dining and Provision.
Chef-owner Linda Hampsten Fox is the vision behind the project — part eatery, market, bakery, and caterer — that she describes as the culmination of her cooking career. So far that career has spanned 15 years abroad working as a private chef and teaching in Switzerland, Italy, and Mexico, followed by 15 years in Colorado. Hampsten Fox raised her kids here, saw them off to college, and then was ready to “finally have a baby.” She waited for the right space to open up in Highland at 1817 Central Street.
“My life is in your food,” Hampsten Fox says of The Bindery’s opening dinner menu that includes standout dishes such as Welsh rarebit with rabbit, Cortina-style ravioli, Kabocha pumpkin and lardo soup, and deconstructed coq au vin.
Accompanying beverages range from the snap-pea vodka cocktail, with Lillet Blanc, orange bitters, and olive oil, to Good River Beer, to Viura Rioja Blanco from Bodegas Ontañon.
All this is served in an upscale cafeteria setting, with room for more than 100 and views beyond the bar of a spacious open kitchen. Somewhere between The Source and Central Market, The Bindery’s design is sleek and airy with wall-to-wall windows, high ceilings, and exposed piping. Under-floor radiant heat keeps it from feeling cold in winter.
Starting this weekend, diners will be able to sit down at the restaurant portion of the 4,000-square-foot space for dinner and brunch. The market will open by next week, offering prepared meals to take away, as well as coffee drinks from Dragonfly roasters, in-house pastries, and bottled and packaged goods (Vermont maple syrup, house-made Sriracha). Daily breakfast and lunch service later will be introduced at the eatery.
Status: Starting Friday, The Bindery opens at 1817 Central Street at 5 p.m. for dinner, with brunch served Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Additional hours starting next week.