Beginning Saturday, May 5, Bob Blair, the owner/executive chef of Fuel Cafe, will add weekend brunch to his repertoire, pumping out a menu that zigzags from chilaquiles to sausage and brioche bread pudding to smoked white fish with bagels, and just for fun, boda bags, courtesy of bar magician Jonathan Greschler, who plans to fill the pouches with champagne and absinthe cocktails before hanging them from the necks of imbibers.
And next month, patio season starts at Fuel, which means pig roasts, live music and plenty of revelry.
But that's just the beginning of what's on Blair's plate. This fall, he's opening a second restaurant in the new Drive structure in the Taxi project, a four-phase, mixed use retail, restaurant and residential community in River North, just west of the Platte River, on Ringsby Court.
"Since Taxi has gotten so big -- there will be over 400 employees working here by the time all four phases come to fruition -- there's a need for more restaurants, and since Fuel is crazy busy with lines out the door, it made sense to create a second restaurant that's a more casual, affordable complement to Fuel," says Blair.
The street-level space, which is under construction, will be called Pit Stop, and it'll be the only dining option in the four-story building, which will also house a local coffee roaster, whose identity is being safeguarded until the lease is inked in espresso.
Blair reveals that Pit Stop will offer sandwiches, salads and soups -- foodstuffs, he says, that are quick, fast and easy. "This will be the kind of place where you can grab a great sandwich that takes three or four minutes to make, run back to your office, or just hang out in the common area or patio, where we'll have seating."
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Blair is working with Mark DeNittis, the high priest of sausage at Il Mondo Vecchio, on the menu, which will include several Il Mondo Vecchio meats, as well as products from Continental Sausage and dishes that are unique to Fuel, a restaurant that's fueled -- pun intended -- by stringent adherence to organic ingredients, which Blair vehemently stands behind. "We may be the most organic restaurant in Denver," he says, "and just like at Fuel Cafe, the food at Pit Stop will utilize as many organic ingredients as possible."
And the addition of Pit Stop, which will also have a liquor license if all goes according to plan, will enable Fuel, which will soon expand its kitchen, to raise the bar on its lunch menu. "We're still working out the details, but ideally, I'd like to create a menu that's a little more similar to our dinner menu, with less sandwiches and more entrees," explains Blair.
But, first: brunch and boda bags!