The newest addition to LoHi’s dining scene, Telluride-born there…, opened last week, bringing an American-izakaya hybrid to the neighborhood. Owners Andrew Tyler, Oren Cohen and Enrique Margulis started the concept five years ago after Tyler paid a visit to the mountain town and phoned back to Cohen with five simple words: “I just found the place.” There… filled a gap they noticed with both food and service in Telluride, bringing something new to the table (and bar) for travelers. After longtime Italian restaurant Pagliacci’s closed, the trio took over at 3254 Navajo Street, bringing the second iteration of there… to Denver.
Each part of the restaurant’s design is an homage to its roots in Telluride. “The whole room is a stage,” said Tyler. “Everything has a story and purpose behind it.” The bar features bright vanity lights and red curtains, an ode to the Sheridan Opera House. Tables along the north side of the building are flush against a wall of wood panels, rocks, and mine lights as a nod to Telluride’s days as a mining town. Near the chef’s counter, two aspen trees stand from floor to ceiling, bringing the outdoor, mountain feel inside. Chef’s counter allows for a more intimate and transparent setting. With the rest of the room behind you, the focus is on the food and experience of the open kitchen where you can order omakase—a meal of dishes selected by chef Ben Knaus. Even the dish pit is open for guests to see, giving a transparent element to the room. Meanwhile, the two-seat chessboard table sets the stage for a romantic anniversary celebration or even a first date.
The bar program is approachable and affordable with three drink lists all made with top quality spirits. The Shaken list ($11) offers smooth and sleek cocktails with ingredients such as sake, lychee, and grapefruit, then moves into cocktails with more of a kick, such as the Diablo with mezcal, orange liqueur, blood orange puree, fresh lime, and chile. If you want to create your own concoction, take a look at the Jam Drinks ($9). Guests pick a spirit, then choose from Maine blueberry, red pepper jelly, and pumpkin jams to top it with and mix to their preference. If a slow-sipping cocktail is more your style, a book with the Black List slipped inside features riffs on classics for $12. For the beer list, there… features five drafts from Telluride Brewing Company along with a small selection of canned and bottled beers. Wine drinkers can find a list of invitingly priced bottles at the back of the book.
For the beer list, there… features five drafts from Telluride Brewing Company along with a small selection of canned and bottled beers. Wine drinkers can find a list of invitingly priced bottles at the back of the book placed down before you.
As Tyler and Cohen aim to cultivate social interaction with the restaurant’s offerings, the food is meant to share. Tostadas, steamed buns, and lettuce wraps start things off as $4 individual bites with options including salmon belly, kobe tartare, crispy spicy duck, and crab ceviche. Kushiyaki skewers ($9) including prawn, pork belly, and a veggie option for $7 move guests to the right side of the menu for larger, shared dishes. The Bowling menu is a $14 bowl with your choice of protein and the chefs choice of grain. “It might be rice one day and it could be ramen the next,” explained Cohen. The ever-changing bowl gives chef Knaus a chance to work with multiple ingredients and keep the menu diverse. Finally, guests can opt for the night’s Shareables selection, which may be a whole fried fish or another large format protein accompanied with vegetables.
If a diverse izakaya dinner is what you’re looking for, there… brings it to you in Colorado style. Shoot an email to [email protected] to reserve your seats at the growing hotspot.
All photography by Charles Hildreth.