When Zach Spott opened Lunchboxx this last July in the old stall that once held SK Provisions, he had nourishment in mind. The previous restaurant had acted as the Denver Central Market’s anchor for generally healthy, casual fare. Once it closed down, Spott was prepared to up the ante and refurbish its established niche. Like SK Provisions, Lunchboxx is a one-stop-shop, serving up a thoughtful list of well-executed deli classics, though the similarities seem to end there. “I like food that’s kind of given to you and you can decide how you want it,” said the owner.
It may be Spott’s experience running Olive and Finch that gives Lunchboxx its panache. Though, more likely, it’s his affiliation with both Green Seed Market and Brass Tacks — projects he co-owns with partners Stephen Julia and Katsumi Yuso Ruiz — that help separate the new concept from the many counter service concepts that generally aspire in its well-formulated direction. “It’s all about the streamlines and operations,” continued Spott.
The menu at Lunchboxx does indeed provide a lesson in the kind of efficiency that makes ordering anything from a quick lunch to a full spread for a family of six or more a breeze. Boxx’s — including street tacos ($14), Vietnamese lettuce wraps ($14) and what may be the piece de resistance, the market bento ($15) — can all be ordered with proteins that include perfectly-crisped rotisserie chicken, pork carnitas, tempura mushrooms or grilled skirt steak. Each of the proteins can also be ordered by fractions of a pound, with a full list of both hot and cold sides making the menu perfect for take-out dinners both large and small.
While flavor certainly sits near centerstage, Spott has formulated a menu that decidedly avoids leaving patrons feeling overly weighed down. This is food that promotes activity, while never sacrificing quality or resorting to any one of the number of gimmicks that make plenty of the so-called clean eating restaurants unpalatable. “What I took from Green Seed is that I found a great ability to create repeat customers with healthy food,” smiled Spott.
While Spott says he’s happy with the current incarnation, he believes both brunch and a late-night menu may be added as the neighborhood dictates.
All photography by Adrienne Thomas.