When the signs first went up for Q House at 3421 E. Colfax Ave., I concluded (incorrectly) that the old storefront would evolve into a BBQ joint. Others who …
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When the signs first went up for Q House at 3421 E. Colfax Ave., I concluded (incorrectly) that the old storefront would evolve into a BBQ joint. Others who dropped in to check out the building during an extensive renovation expected pool tables.
Instead, Q House is a modern Chinese eatery that takes its title from the island of Taiwan where ‘Q’ means ‘very good bounce,’ or ‘just right’ in kitchen terms. The term is akin to the Italian descriptor ‘al dente.’ Q, in brief, equates to perfection. They may be onto something because just nine days after opening their doors, the crew is seeing repeat business.
A modern take on Chinese cuisine and the foods of Taiwan is showcased at Q House, East Colfax’s latest restaurant in a lovingly renovated building.
“It’s a melting pot for some flavors we hold near and dear,” said Jon Pinto, who handles the front of house. “We felt people were ready to branch out and embrace a new style of food.”
Chef Christopher Lin owns the eatery along with Pinto and general manager Jen Mattioni. It delivers a modern vision of traditional Chinese cuisine served family-style.
The most talked about dish is likely to be the pig’s ear and braised tofu salad with watermelon radish accents. Entrees include mussels with black bean sauce and dipping fries. There’s also a dish of stir-fried green beans with slow cooked egg. For the famished, try the dry-aged ribeye that tips the scale at 36-40 ounces, paired with bacon turnip cake fries and a black pepper sauce. Definitely not your typical Chinese takeout joint.
The exterior of the space has been totally revamped. Only the outside walls remain of a building that’s sat empty in recent years.
Indoors, there’s warmth in the design and the seating layout. You can find a secluded table, but you’ll probably gravitate to the chef’s counter, or one around the full bar. An extensive patio extends along Colfax and multiple garage doors will retract in fine weather to connect the two zones.
Most of the cooking is done in full view with help from a small basement prep kitchen.
The doors finally opened the first week in May. It was touch and go during our windy April and its power outages, which halted the final finish for several days.
The trio chose Colfax for their joint venture after looking all over town. “It spoke to us,” Pinto stated simply.
Colfax speaks to many. Take time to listen. The web address is Qhousedenver.com.
MILE HIGH ON THE FLY
Here’s your hidden gem of the month. Mile High On The Fly opened in January and I just discovered it myself several weeks ago. No, it does not sell marijuana-infused eats. Yes, night owls need to know about it when the late-night munchies hit.
Inside the former Martine’s Bakery space behind Turin Bikes, On The Fly has been quietly operating at 700 Lincoln St. It started out as a lunch spot but rapidly evolved into dark hours. When I say this is a late-night spot, that’s no exaggeration. On the Fly opens at 10:00p.m. daily and closes at 4:00a.m.
When you step inside, you may wonder what you’ve walked into. There are masks hanging from the walls, light patterns dancing on the walls, and platform heels hung to dress up a few corners. One of the owners described the venture as “quirky weirdos who make food in the middle of the night.”
This is the next step for a couple who got their start making burritos to sell at concerts and other events. Their business mushroomed, and they could not afford enough commissary space, so a restaurant location was the next logical step. Now they dish up a half-pound burrito you can customize for just $4.20.
While the business has fun with the marijuana theme, it’s a serious venture that already features an expansive menu. It includes Mexican Pork Green Chile Nachos in a box, burritos, cinnamon rolls, chile rellenos cooked in egg roll wrappers, and more. Asian fusion dishes are being added soon. Vegan and vegetarian options are already on the menu.
Snake Bites should intrigue some diners. That terminology on the menu signifies bacon and some sort of heat in each dish. Roasted peppers and cheddar jack cheese are also featured egg roll style.
One unusual dish is the Elotes, a roast corn and rice dish served Snake Bit, Plain or Locos.
Currently, 80 percent of their orders are delivered. The owners are perfecting their own delivery system but currently use companies such as GrubHub.
Call 720-380-0197 for more details, or check out the full carte at allmenus.com.
NOBLE HOG CHARCUTERIE
Charcuterie fans, make haste. There’s a new specialty shop at 4326 E. Eighth Ave. worth investigating.
Located in the former All-V Subs space, Noble Hog Charcuterie opened May 18. It’s the vision of Nick Elder who just returned from educational charcuterie studies in France, so expect some unusual offerings.
Entrepreneur Nick Elder is primed to show off his meat and cheese emporium after a year on the farmers market circuit.
There’s a vast selection of meats here, including a Cabernet and herb sausage and a brandied white truffle sausage. You may be challenged choosing between pesto & Brie chicken sausage, red Thai curry chicken sausage, port & fig bacon, Sriracha bacon, rendered duck fat, duck leg confit, and more.
Elder bills the shop as Denver's source for fresh handcrafted artisan meats. He will ship products nationwide. The full menu is available at noblehog.com. The number’s 720-607-4433.
DAIKON BANH MI SANDWICHES
Just a block from Mile High there’s another venture you must try. It’s named after a key ingredient in Southeast Asian fare.
Surely Vietnamese Cooking 101 mentions the daikon, a white vegetable from the radish family. The owners of a new eatery on East Seventh Avenue near Sherman Street have picked that name to brand their Vietnamese sandwich shop.
Pickles the Gorilla is the mascot at the new Daikon Banh Mi Sandwich Shop on East Seventh Avenue.
Banh Mi refers to a type of sandwich enclosed in a light baguette. It’s a blend of French elements paired with ingredients that are purely Southeast Asian.
The new build at 211 E. Seventh Ave. is a great place. Daikon is sandwiched between the newest location of Tequila, Tacos, Whisky (a.k.a. Pinche) and a yet-to-be unveiled third retail venture on the other side.
The Governor’s Park eatery is the brain child of brothers Lon and Rob McGowan. It was born of an ongoing debate over why the Bahn Mi was the best sandwich on earth.
The answer could be the pickled vegetables and plentiful herbs lavished on top of chicken, beef, brisket or a fourth item labeled pulled po-k. Po-k is a special vegan offering made with jackfruit that I’m guaranteed tastes just like pulled pork.
Hours run from 11:00a.m.-9:00p.m. seven days a week. Evenings, a warm neon gorilla lights up the dining room. Learn more at Daikondenver.com.
SHANTY SUPPER CLUB
For years, Tim Doherty has teased me with promises of a second venture while offering no details. He’s the driving force behind Syrup, the a.m. eateries with locations in Cherry Creek North and City Park.
The original spot for the second concept was on Welton Street, but that fizzled, so Doherty looked further and has landed at 1033 E. 17th Ave. in Uptown.
Now the former Milwaukee resident is expanding to offer a concept from his Wisconsin days—a supper club. It’s called The Shanty Supper Club—a name he says he took from the movie “Grumpy Old Men.”
The space has been totally transformed from its prior Gumbo décor. An impressive back bar from Wisconsin was added and there’s new plush banquette seating all along the western wall.
A mural is planned for one wall. It contains an image of Roaring Dan Seavey, a notorious pirate who worked the Great Lakes in the early 1900s. He had an eye for cargos of alcohol, lumber and venison, according to historians. His companion at The Shanty is Walter the Walleye.
The menu is more comforting that Seavey’s career, thankfully, except perhaps for Walter or his kin. Pork chops, broasted chicken, fried walleye fish and bone-in ribeye steaks are some of the offerings. Broasting is frying under pressure to seal in all the juices.
Prices top out at $22.99 for entrees and start at $6.99. Wisconsin stuffed burgers are also on the menu, including one with bleu cheese, bacon and caramelized onions.
The 1,300-square-foot. eatery opens Tuesdays-Sundays at 3:00p.m. Closing hours vary. Special events may be held on Mondays.
THUMP COFFEE #2
A second location for Cap Hill’s popular Thump coffee debuted on Broadway at 6th Avenue in early April. It’s part of the massive construction for Denver Health that includes a selection of retailers on the ground floor.
The second location is different from the first. Thump first opened in Denver after getting its start in Bend, Ore. The East 13th Avenue and Downing location has been busy since it opened in November 2013. It offers brunch items seven days a week.
The new storefront is more traditional as coffee shops go. It is open from 6:00a.m.-6:00p.m. seven days a week, offering coffee and other beverages plus pastries. No brunch. No avocado toast. But there is free parking for retail shops in the attached garage.
POTBELLY TOASTED SANDWICHES
Next door to Thump #2, Potbelly Toasted Sandwiches is also now open. It’s more competition for the lunch crowd.
The original store was in Chicago inside an antiques store. When the owners started offering sandwiches to the browsers, Potbelly evolved into a lunch spot and now boasts over 30 locations, including the latest at Broadway and East Sixth Avenue.
At Broadway and East Sixth, tin ceilings and an antique potbelly stove reflect Potbelly Toasted Sandwiches’ start in an Illinois antique store.
There’s an antique potbelly stove in each location, and this spot also sports tin ceilings in the prep area. The menu is focused on 18 different toasted sandwiches. Their signature sub is entitled ‘A Wreck.’ It includes three meats and melted Swiss cheese. You’ll also find salads and a kids menu.
The cookies and veggies are prepared fresh every morning. If you opt for a milkshake, it comes with mini cookies stacked on your straw.
The latest entry into the custom men’s suit market is Indochino, a British Columbia firm that moved into Lululemon’s vacated digs at 158 Fillmore St. in Cherry Creek North.
Custom suits begin at under $400. You choose your fabrics and even the preferred lapel style.
Denver’s location is the company’s 24th store and, at press time, it was slated to open May 18. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10:00a.m.-7:00p.m., Sunday Noon-5:00p.m.
A clothing entrepreneur who launched Kaitlyn Collective in Cherry Creek North two years ago has added a second venture to her stable. Located at 3035 E. Third Ave., Kait Sweat is the name and the name says it all.
Fashionable athletic wear is the draw. The space across from Denver Darling carries sizes XS-L in women’s workout wear. Like its older sibling, Kait Sweat focuses on monochromatic attire.
The shop is open seven days a week. Hours are 10:00a.m.-5:00p.m. Monday-Saturday. Sunday hours are more fluid with doors opening 11:00a.m. and closing 5-ish. However, you’ll see activity in the evenings, too. Kait Sweat plans to host events and offer exercise classes. The minimalistic furnishings can be pushed to one side to create a sizable open space.
Learn more by calling 970-590-2743.
A SKIN BOUTIQUE
Across the street from Kait Sweat is Purely Organic: A Skin Boutique at 2426 E. Third Ave.
This salon features microdermabrasion using 100 percent organic walnut shells. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? The team also tints eyebrows and lashes, offers waxing and treats other facial areas.
Hours are Monday-Thursday 10:00a.m.-6:00p.m., Friday 9:00a.m.-4:00p.m., and Saturday by appointment. Browse the list of services at askinboutiquedenver.com or call 720-620-4853.
On the same block you’ll see the new Simply Framed, an enterprise offering exactly what the name promises—simple framing services to put the things you love on walls.
It’s designed to make custom framing “easy and affordable from home,” if you desire. You can select your frames from home and ship them the art, or drop in at 2434 E. Third Ave. Check out simplyframed.com.
ROBERT ANDERSON PHOTOGRAPHY & FINE ARTS
There’s a new, eye-catching venture immediately east of the Bluebird Theater at 3321 E. Colfax. Ave. It’s Robert Anderson Gallery, which started in New York City, moved to Cherry Creek North in 2014 and has now landed on Colfax after a brief hiatus. The official opening was set to occur the first week of June.
Here, the focus is on contemporary photography. Anderson features the works of 20 photographers working across the U.S. and locally.
The gallery also shows collage, painting, steel, clay and fiber art by local and national artists. Periodic exhibits are planned that will highlight selected artists for several months at a time. Those will change every few months.
Hours are slated to be noon-6:00p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, or by appointment. The number is 303-257-0684.
CIVIC CENTER PARK EATS
The Food Truck Event at Civic Center Park has opened for the season. Dates this summer are Tuesday-Thursday, 11:00a.m.-2:00p.m. There’s live music this year and the event runs through October 4.
DENVER BBQ FESTIVAL
If you’re fresh out of ideas for Father’s Day weekend in mid-June, consider the inaugural Denver BBQ Fest. The event unites legendary pit masters from Denver and the nation to serve award-winning BBQ. You can also enjoy with live music, cold beer and other beverages, and participate in BBQ tutorials and demonstrations. Details at denverbbqfest.com.
EXTRA SPACE STORAGE
The former Denver Public Schools administrative building at 900 Grant St. is now a u-store-it facility. As a parent, I spent too many evenings at public hearings in that structure advocating for DPS to move in a more child-friendly direction.
This reincarnation is hard to process but the new, climate-controlled space features a variety of sizes with first month free to new customers. The company website, extraspace.com, yields the best rates.
TWIST & SHOUT
The inimitable CD and vinyl-loving music store at 2508 E. Colfax Ave. marked its 30th anniversary in April on Record Store Day, an observation that Twist & Shout helped launch.
Unlike many ventures that change addresses, Twist & Shout has thrived in the Lowenstein complex across from East High School, and we wish them an even longer run.
This year, a new album was recorded at the store with Jason Isbell to mark the event. Check out the offerings and upcoming schedule of live music events at twistandshout.com.
THE CHOCOLATE LAB
Next door, the anniversary marker has just passed Year One, but The Chocolate Lab still has cause to celebrate. The company just rolled out a spring menu after marking May 5 as the end of its first year in a brick-and-mortar location.
New dishes on the menu include an Impossible Burger. It’s meatless and sprinkled with chocolate and spice rub, then topped with spicy chocolate ketchup.
Another addition is the homemade tortellini filled with dark-chocolate-herbed Chèvre cheese served in lemon butter. Seared scallops with bok choy get their chocolate fix in the chimichurri. Or try the roast asparagus with fresh herbs, cheese and chocolate balsamic vinaigrette.
A large segment of the Lab’s business continues to be their vast truffle selection. It’s one of the largest in town. They were also offering chocolate-covered dill pickles during my last drop-in.
Since it opened in the former Moontower Tacos space on Grant near East Sixth Avenue, Illegal Burger has been embellishing the space. I wasn’t aware they featured a full bar until a recent visit.
Part of the bar includes rack after rack of fruit-infused moonshine. Illegal now offers a list of daily drink specials. Sunday and Monday, one temptation is the 99-cent house margarita. On Thursday, take $1 off the price of ‘adult’ milkshakes. There’s also a special day for discounted ’shine.
A full bar with infused moonshine in jars is just one of the temptations at Illegal Burger on East Sixth Avenue and Grant Street.
If beef ain’t your passion, the menu includes a pair of salads, veggie burgers along with chicken and fish sandwiches. Find the full menu at illegalburger.com. Don’t miss the chilling images of Alcatraz as you walk in.
CITY O’ CITY
Dan Landes has been a big name in the Denver food scene for decades. He founded one of the original vegetarian eateries in the Queen City, but he’s just sold his final holding, City O’ City on East 13th Avenue and Sherman Street, to the mother-daughter duo who purchased his flagship eatery several years ago.
The new owners, Jennifer Byers and Lauren Roberts, also own Watercourse Foods on East 17th Avenue in Uptown, which Landes launched 20 years ago. He’s reportedly leaving the country to run a hostel he also owns in Mexico.
SHERLOCK HOUND PET DELI
The ownership behind Sherlock Hound pet foods and necessities decided to shrink the company footprint from two storefronts to one. The consolidated address is 1422 E. 22nd Ave. in Whittier.
The vacated space on East 6th Avenue near Clarkson Street is undergoing renovations and will then be up for rent.
“I like it over here better,” Sherlock’s owner told LIFE. She indicated the 6th Avenue location had experienced changes that didn’t fit her business model, including trash headaches after dumpsters were removed from the area.
Sherlock Hound will still deliver to pups residing in the LIFE area. Call 303-433-3234 for details, or visit sherlockhound.com.
After less than six months in operation, Anecdote has closed at 955 Bannock St. Notes on the company website indicate that the building has been sold and will be demolished. The venture’s owner is seeking a new location.
ASSISTANCE LEAGUE THRIFT MART
It’s finally time for the Thrift Shop on East Colfax Avenue to relocate to its new home at 6265 E. Evans.
Nancy Foster, longtime reader and my predecessor as biz writer for LIFE, alerted me to the shutdown. Its Colfax run stretched several months longer than originally announced.
The number should remain 303-861-2122 and Denver.assistanceleague.org is the web address. The primarily volunteer venture supports childhood literacy and a number of other community services.
HELOISE CHILDREN’S BOUTIQUE
The charming children’s clothing store at 300 University Blvd. in CCN has shuttered. My efforts to track down details have fallen flat and calls to 303-997-5261 have gone unanswered.
You have a few more weeks to bid farewell to Denver Wrangler, one of the area’s longest running gay bars. In 2016, the crew moved up to 3090 Downing St. after decades on East 17th Avenue in Uptown. Now the decision has been made to close the iconic joint.
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