After a one-month turnaround, Ignite Ale House & Kitchen opens today in a former Woody's Tavern in Arvada. This is the second Ignite from Concept Restaurants, the group that also runs Humboldt, Stout Street Social, the Rialto Cafe and several other restaurants around town. Expect this version of the group's Ballpark burger bar to cater to a more suburban demographic while also expanding the focus beyond burgers.
"It was like Property Brothers on steroids," says general manager Zan Steinberg of the speed at which the building was renovated with a new kitchen, bar, dining room decor and exterior touch-ups. Steinberg joined Concept Restaurants with the specific goal of upgrading the former pizza joint into new draw for a neighborhood in need of some quality restaurant options. While Old Town Arvada has seen a recent surge of independent restaurants, the stretch of Sheridan Boulevard that's home to the new Ignite is still dominated by chains.
"The company isn't corporate," Steinberg adds, "It's creative." The menu at Ignite Ale House & Kitchen, like that of it's downtown sibling, is built around a wood-burning oven. And while burgers form a solid base of the dinner list, there are also individual pizzas, sandwiches unique to the new location, and a few entrees for the fork-and-knife crowd, including short ribs, chicken fried chicken, and green chile mac and cheese.
Craft beer also plays a central role at Ignite, with more than twenty beers on tap — mostly from Colorado — plus a well curated selection of bottles and cans. Big-screen TVs display beer menus prominently, along with other information on daily specials.
The interior captures a mood that's part sports bar and part hip, urban hangout, with a full-size racing scull on one wall (a vintage item from Concept Restaurants owner Frank Day's college rowing days), frosted tap towers and slate-gray walls accented with orange and red.
Steinberg notes that waitstaff training is a crucial part of the plan to help set Ignite apart from other Arvada eateries. Although the menu isn't huge, there are plenty of details that could elicit questions from diners: how the bleu cheese mousse that comes with the "pig wings" is made — and what's a pig wing anyway? (It's a slow-cooked bite of shank on the bone that's finished with a zippy Buffalo sauce, in case you're wondering.)
Other items — like Ignite's popular "man candy" bacon and jalapeño deviled eggs, along with a few of the teetering burgers — have already undergone thorough vetting at the hands and mouths of Ballpark denizens and should translate well to the new Arvada spot.
Ignite opens today for lunch and will be open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight, with a 2 a.m. closing time on Friday and Saturday.