When you think of Golden you typically think of hiking, climbing, mountain biking and easy access to I-70. The historic downtown is very western and old-timey and you wouldn’t have any idea that there is a unique and delicious seasonal restaurant just around the corner from the famous Woody’s Pizza. Brandon Bortles is changing the stereotype and diversifying downtown Golden with his restaurant Abejas. “I want to over-deliver. I want people to be surprised at the food we do out of this little kitchen in Golden,” he explained.
The small, farm-to-table restaurant seats about 50 people and caters to locals, faculty of the School of Mines and show-goers of the Miners Alley Playhouse. The decor is spring-y and bright, paying homage to the restaurant’s namesake — the bee. Bortles explained that the restaurant’s name came about because him and co-owner Barry Dobesh were known as “the B’s” throughout their friendship. “Bees conjure up the right images of gardens, pollination and agriculture,” said Bortles, “so we went with it.”
Abejas’ menu changes constantly with the seasons and availability of local ingredients so the style of dishes ranges from bold and spicy to fresh and simple. From the light snow crab salad and yuzu beets to the flavorful seared sea scallops and lamb chop, the menu will please any palate. The restaurant is open for weekend brunch, weekday lunch and dinner and recently started a Sunday small bites menu where you can get five small plates for $10 each to try out new dishes that aren’t on the regular menus.
Bortles also has another restaurant in the works that should bring even more diversity to Golden. He saw an opportunity for a new restaurant as well as a need for more diverse cuisine in the area and will open up a fast-casual ramen shop this summer. The shop will cater to students, faculty, locals and anyone who is looking for a warm bowl of ramen on the West side of town.
As Golden starts to branch out from its typical burger-and-fries restaurant scene more upscale restaurants will attract Denverites to the area for more than just the outdoor scene. Hiking trails, cute shops and a nice meal? You might want to stay a little longer than planned.
Abejas is located at 807 13th St., Golden. Open for lunch Tuesday – Friday 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., dinner Tuesday – Sunday 5-9:30 p.m. and brunch Saturday – Sunday 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.