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Beckon’s intimate chef counter has fewer than 20 seats
Beckon opens for reservation-based dinners on Wednesday, November 21
Adam Larkey/Eater

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Denver’s First Chef’s Counter-Only Restaurant Opens Tomorrow

17-seat Beckon is a higher-end follow up to the nationally praised Call in RiNo

Last week ahead of its opening, Larimer Street’s newest restaurant, Beckon, held a series of test dinners during which friends of the business, Instagram influencers, and media folks all gushed over What. Was. Coming. The raves were many — an intimate format, warm hospitality, pretty plating, and comforting dishes. But what comes next will be harder to sell, literally, to the wider Denver audience. Starting Wednesday, Beckon is hosting $95-a-pop, reservation-only dinners across two seatings for four nights a week and with eight set courses.

In order to pull this off, the restaurant’s owners and operators know they’ll need some introduction. For that, it’s important to go back a year or so to the opening of Call, Beckon’s less serious, boozy lunching sister.

Not even eight months after moving into a 900-square-foot Denver bungalow, she skyrocketed to Bon Appétit’s top 10 new restaurants in the country. The expectations that followed were sure to be outrageous, but the team has since girded themselves for phase two of their Denver disruption. They’ve temporarily halted Call’s cafeteria-style evening service, running that counter restaurant from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. most days. Come dinner time, their efforts shift entirely next door to Beckon, Denver’s first chef’s counter-only dinner experience.

The entrance to Beckon at 2845 Larimer Street
A waiting room with wine greets diners as they walk into the Larimer Street bungalow

To get to the dinner, 34 attendees at most will walk through the front gate each night and past a walled-in patio. The salon, a waiting room, is their first stop in the house, complete with a stocked liquor cabinet and all the proper stemware — the start to any good dinner party. Behind a curtain comes the dining room, one wide U-shaped bar that places each dinner guest in direct contact with head chef Duncan Holmes, plus two more cooks, working behind it. Sommelier Zach Byers walks the room pouring optional wine (or cider or beer) pairings, while manager Allison Anderson floats, checking on timing and service.

From design to execution, the feel is East meets West Coast meets Northern Europe. The counter chairs are that rare kind to sit on comfortably and get lost in the meal for two (or was it more?) hours.

<span data-author="3635139">Beckon</span>
17 seats surround the chef’s counter at Beckon
Adam Larkey/Eater
Chefs prepare and plate the 8-course meals in front of diners, and explain the ingredients personally

Dinners will change monthly, but the opening menu in honor of December’s full Cold Moon brings out “the observance of winter and the pleasures we take in staying warm, well-fed and content,” according to the reservation page. Translation: Diners here are getting savory Scandinavian doughnut bites (aebleskivers), caviar-topped and rye breaded oysters, coffee-roasted celery root, smoked Colorado trout in its consommé, buttery langoustine, a goat crepinette, and squab with foie mousse and lingonberry. And that’s all before dessert hits. And that’s also excluding baker Tamara Tompkins’ Aspen. Bark flour. Bread. With butter.

Chef Duncan Holmes behind Beckon’s three-sided chef’s counter
Chef Duncan Holmes prepares for a nightly eight-course dinner at Beckon
Adam Larkey
A view from the back of Beckon (note: the bathroom is past the back exit sign)

After dinner, and likely in a stupor, diners will be able to linger on the patio around a fire pit or stop and chat with an acquaintance who’s been sitting for the whole meal across the table. For what it’s worth, by the end of one ooh- and ahh-filled pre-opening service, Anderson said something along the lines, Our home is your home, you’re always welcome. And it was a small gesture, and it will come attached to a big price tag at the restaurant, but everyone in attendance on this evening cheered at the sentiment. For one night, at least, a small but packed house was caught up enjoying Denver’s next great restaurant.

Status: Beckon opens Wednesday, November 21 for reservation-only (and paid in advance) dinner service. Here is the Tock reservation page with more information.

The front patio at Beckon is for sitting and drinking this winter — with blankets and a fire pit

Beckon | Call

2845 Larimer St., Denver, CO 80205

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