This summer, Denver got two delis, a French bistro, French dips, and an Israeli restaurant, among other anticipated new spots. Heading into fall, the city will see a diverse spread of openings, from casual chicken and sandwich shops to upscale tasting menus. James Beard Award-winning chefs are opening new restaurants, as are local up-and-comers. Successful out-of-town groups are moving in, and a range of Denver neighborhoods will see development. Here are eight restaurants to watch for, not including the exciting upcoming wine and cocktail stops.
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Where: RiNo, 2845 Larimer Street, in the bungalow next door to sister restaurant Call
Major Players: Chef Duncan Holmes and beverage director and GM Allison Anderson, both previously of Frasca and now operating Call; also Craig Lieberman of neighboring 34 Degrees crackers.
What to Expect: From the team that brought us Call, one of Bon Appetit’s 10 best new restaurants in America, comes this evening-only chef’s counter with multiple tasting menu options. The combination of Beckon and Call should be a showstopper on Larimer Street
Projected Opening: TBD
Where: Old South Pearl, 1300 South Pearl Street, in the former Village Cork
Major Players: Chef Alex Seidel (Fruition, Mercantile, Füdmill) together with Snooze’s co-founder Adam Schlegel and longtime Denver barman Randy Layman.
What to Expect: James Beard Award-winning chef Alex Seidel makes his foray into fast-casual with a high-quality rotisserie restaurant inspired by popular chicken shops in Australia. Sourcing will be key, from local poultry to sides and vegetables. And the best part: Diners should be able to eat well for under $10.
Projected Opening: September
Where: Stapleton, 2955 Ulster Street
Major Players: Chef-owner Cristino Griego, former executive chef of The Bistro in the same location, and also formerly of SupperBell.
What to Expect: In the space previously occupied by The Bistro, that restaurant’s opening head chef will bring a new French, Spanish, and Italian small plates concept with a wine bar and bodega-style market selling pasta, sauces, cheeses, meats, and pickles.
Projected Opening: Late October
Where: Cole, 3357 Downing Street, formerly Las Brasas
Major Players: Chef and owner Josh Pollack of Rosenberg’s Bagels and Delicatessen and the new Famous Original J’s Pizza.
What to Expect: Named after Pollack’s grandfather, Lou’s will be an Italian deli specializing in sandwiches to-go and offering a selection of meats and cheeses, as well as fresh pasta, conserved foods, and frozen items. The house sandwich will be stacked with cured ham, Genoa salami, copa, provolone, shredded lettuce, tomato, and giardiniera.
Projected Opening: Mid-fall
Where: LoDo, 1600 15th Street, in the former Wazee Supper Club
Major Players: Chef Max MacKissock and partners Katie O’Shea and Juan Padro (Culinary Creative Group), also beverage managers Mary Allison Wright and McClain Hedges (RiNo Yacht Club).
What to Expect: MacKissock dives into his family’s heritage with an updated take on the French restaurant. Bar snacks and tasting menus alike will be offered, alongside natural wines, French-style beers, and funky Armagnac cocktails. The historic Wazee Supper Club space is currently being renovated and will include a raised mezzanine lounge area.
Projected Opening: Late September
Where: Berkeley, 4404 Yates Street
Major Players: Pastry chef Alicia Luther Clardie (formerly Black Eye Coffee), GM Madison Martinez (formerly Black Eye), and chef and business partner Jeff Osaka (12 @ Madison, Osaka Ramen, Sushi-Rama).
What to Expect: On a currently barren business stretch and from a rising Denver baker comes this breakfast and lunch cafe with its own bread loaves, sweet and savory pastries, and other grab-and-go items. The cafe will sit next door to a second location of Amethyst Coffee (based in the Golden Triangle).
Projected Opening: TBD
Where: LoHi, 2201 West 32nd Avenue, below Ali Baba Grill
Major Players: Chef Alec Bruno, formerly of Ocean Prime and now Catering by Chef Bruno
What to Expect: The 30-seat space will serve 11- to 16-course tasting menus five nights a week. Menus will be inspired by modern gastronomy with Italian and Japanese influences. Meals could start with a warm cloth steamed in lavender and cut grass, and follow with a watermelon gazpacho topped in popped corn. See also Iberico lardo arancini made in a nigiri style.
Projected Opening: Early October
Where: Curtis Park, 2500 Lawrence Street, in the S*Park development
Major Players: James Beard Award-winning, Texas-based Chef Tyson Cole and Denver chef de cuisine Brandon Brumback
What to Expect: Austin’s best Japanese restaurant is opening its first outpost outside of Texas this fall in Denver. Uchi focuses on contemporary Japanese cuisine — sushi, sashimi, grilled yakimono vegetables and meats, and chef’s omakase tastings. A rooftop greenhouse in Curtis Park will supply the ingredients.
Projected Opening: October