Look for the last two standing bungalows on a developing block in RiNo, and there are Beckon and Call, the first painted deep gray and slated to open in the new year, the latter in all white and open as of Tuesday at 2845 Larimer Street.
This bright little cafe is the brainchild of owner Craig Lieberman, chef Duncan Holmes, and beverage director and manager Allison Anderson. Prior to starting Beckon | Call, Holmes was the culinary director of Frasca Food and Wine. Anderson spent seven years managing the bar there. Lieberman founded 34 Degrees crackers next door to the bungalows and is now fulfilling a dream of opening a neighborhood gathering spot. With Holmes’ and Anderson’s vision, Call (and later Beckon) should be just that.
“The idea here is to get to know your neighbor, and get to know your neighborhood,” says Anderson from inside the 900-square-foot space. “It’s just big enough to always feel full, and bustling, and happy.”
Holmes, together with Anderson and Lieberman, hopes to create a European-style cafe, where patrons are standing around drinking wine and spritzes, eating oysters on the half-shell, ordering loaves of seeded rye to-go, and sitting down for a shaved fennel salad or a cured salmon sandwich. Salads and open-faced sandwiches are priced for a lunch crowd and are also prepared for takeaway. Holmes’ food menu will lean toward hearty Northern European, and Scandinavia in particular, where his heritage is and where he worked for a while in Danish and Swedish kitchens.
Call’s decor too is Scandinavian, with a pop-art twist — orange tin can phones hang from the ceiling playing “call”-themed music, and an electric blue sign in the bathroom reads “For A Good Time... .” One of the key art pieces in this minimalist room is a sleek under-the-counter Mavam espresso maker that will pull shots later to be mixed with ginger and turmeric. It’s not a coffee bar, stresses Lieberman, but the coffee won’t be an afterthought, and neither will breakfast pastries from eclairs to lemon tarts. Seating accommodates around 25 people, between the bar rail and a stackable (think Murphy bed) bleacher.
For now, Call is the daytime counterpart to Beckon, which will open next door in early 2018. Together, the concepts resemble others out there but new to Denver. Beckon will provide an evening chef’s table (a la Nashville’s Catbird Seat) with multiple tasting menu options and rotating plates offered in the style of dim sum (see San Francisco’s State Bird Provisions). And Call will eventually house its own later-in-the-day cocktail and beverage program; the team is starting with sodas, shrubs, and tonics. Other developments, too, are on the horizon: A former woodshed in the back of the property will become a cozy private dining room, and a backyard will be transformed into a breezy hangout. Customers are advised to “call back soon” for information on these later additions.
Status: Call is now open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 2845 Larimer Street. Check back for updates on Beckon.