Sage Restaurant Group will open a new location of its Urban Farmer restaurant concept in the space formerly occupied by McCormick's Fish House & Bar at the Oxford Hotel at 1600 17th Street. McCormick's has long been a landmark in lower downtown; it opened there in 1987, before the area officially became the LoDo Historic District.
Urban Farmer is a family of restaurants that Sage operates in Cleveland, Philadelphia and Portland, Oregon. The modern steakhouses feature locally sourced ingredients in elegant yet rustic settings that are designed to tell the story of a hardworking country farmer who marries a cosmopolitan art collector. Though inspired by the same couple, each location has its own character that reflects the city in which it is located.
The restaurants have in-house butcher shops, meaning that the entire animal is used. The steakhouses are not focused solely on beef; they also offer an array of poultry and seafood, as well as sides, soups and salads using seasonal ingredients.
Sage, whose hotel group owns the Oxford as well as two other independent hotels in Denver (with a fourth soon to join the lineup at the Dairy Block), has wanted to take over the space since 2012. That's when the McCormick & Schmick’s chain was acquired by Landry’s Inc., the owner of the Rainforest Cafe and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. chains, in a $131.6 million deal. In the process, Landry's acquired not just control of the McCormick's dining room and corner bar, but also the beloved Cruise Room.
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Sage will also take over control of that space. McCormick’s closed over the weekend, and Urban Farmer will open there in June 2017. In the meantime, staffers are providing a limited menu for room service at the Oxford and to the Cruise Room.
Update: 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, January 3: Sage Restaurant Group issued a press release noting that Urban Farmer will be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, overseen by executive chef Chris Starkus and culinary director Matt Christianson. “Each time we open an Urban Farmer Steakhouse is like opening a brand new restaurant, and we’re thrilled to bring this concept to our hometown of Denver,” Peter Karpinski, co-founder of SRG, says in the release. “Though steakhouses are certainly not unfamiliar to diners here in Denver, we hope that Urban Farmer’s emphasis on local Colorado sourcing and simple presentations redefines the traditional steakhouse dining experience for our guests.”