Congress Park will get a new coffee shop, bakery, and cafe when Spruce & Lark opens by spring 2018. Pastry chef Alicia Luther Clardie (formerly of Black Eye Coffee) is teaming up with another local chef (yet to be announced, behind one of Denver’s top 25 restaurants). Together they’ll open Spruce & Lark, which is poised to join other food destinations — Sweet Cooie’s, 12@Madison — in the buzzworthy neighborhood. The exact location will be announced after the current tenants move out.
Spruce & Lark will use Colorado purveyors and Colorado ingredients for a brunch-centered menu that will start around 7 a.m. and extend into the afternoon and early evening, closing around 6 p.m. Luther Clardie says she is excited to use PB Love Company nut butters for breakfast toasts with fruit and granola, as well as for almond butter cookies. She and her business partner are working on a pastry, sandwich, and salad menu that will cater to families in the neighborhood. They named the restaurant after the Colorado state tree and bird, respectively.
Luther Clardie got her start working as a pastry cook in Los Angeles, before moving to Denver in 2015 to work as the executive pastry chef for the original LoHi Black Eye Coffee as well as its now-closed Capitol Hill outpost. She was laid off from the shop in June and has since been planning her own eatery. The business, Luther Clardie says, has been a lifetime in the making, dating back to her earliest cooking encounters with her abuelita in California.
“I’ve put in my personal savings and everything I can for this,” she says of Spruce & Lark. “It’s a lot of work to make it happen, but I’ve gotten great support so far. I’d like to share that now.”
Watch for updates about the new restaurant and, in the meantime, check out Spruce & Lark’s GoFundMe page.