A vacant Lower Highlands restaurant space will soon come back to life with the opening of Ash’Kara this fall. The new eatery at 2005 West 33rd Avenue — formerly Bremen’s Wine & Tap — will serve Israeli and Middle Eastern food made by the chef behind Boulder’s River and Woods and Lafayette’s Acreage cider house and restaurant. Before starting his own restaurants around Boulder, Daniel Asher led the kitchens of Root Down, Linger, and Ophelia’s in Denver. This latest project gets back to his roots.
Ash’Kara’s menu will draw from modern Israeli cuisine, with flavors from across the Middle East — grilled meats coated in harissa and zhug, pita and lavash breads dipped in hummus, muhammara, and baba ghanoush. While his most recent restaurant project, Acreage, focuses on Basque and Spanish Mediterranean influences, Asher grew up eating Middle Eastern food in Montreal and visiting his family’s Israeli kibbutz. Ashkara is Hebrew slang with Arabic influence; it translates to “for real.”
Asher’s first Denver restaurant is a joint effort with a long roster of local names. Among the partners is Culinary Creative Group (see also Bar Dough, Señor Bear, Morin, and Maine Shack); Ben Higgins, who was on “The Bachelor;” and Dina Castillo, the owner of the shuttered Bremen’s Wine & Tap. That restaurant lasted seven months, closing in February at the same address. But Ash’Kara is getting a revamp by Shike Design, and its food should be well-timed on the Denver scene. Safta, a modern Israeli restaurant, opens in RiNo next month.