Earlier this month, Highland Tap and Burger owner Juan Padro said that he was focusing on employee training and that "our plan is to grow the Tap brand." Given the imminent opening of Bar Dough, the restaurant he's creating with chef Max MacKissock right next door to his Lower Highland burger joint, it made made sense that he'd want continuity in customer service between his two eateries. But it turns out that Padro was hinting at more to come; he and his wife, Katie O'Shea-Padro, are bringing the Tap brand to the St. Anthony's development just south of Sloan's Lake in a new restaurant to be called Tap and Burger at Sloan’s Lake.
The seven-block redevelopment project, dubbed SLOANS, kicked off in early 2014 with the demolition of St. Anthony's Hospital and will include Alexan Sloan’s Lake (a Trammel Crow Residential development), a 369-unit apartment building with retail space on the ground floor, where the Padros are building out the new Tap and Burger. The 4,600-square-foot space on Raleigh Street will include seating for 230 guests, an elevated patio, an island bar and additional room for private groups and business functions.
Expect a focus on Colorado brews — which will include as many as forty tap handles — and spirits as at the original Tap and Burger, along with burgers and menu favorites that have earned several nods in our Best of Denver editions over the past few years. Tap and Burger partner Eli Odell will continue in his position as executive chef at the LoHi location and will also oversee the Sloan's Lake kitchen as well as any future Tap and Burger projects. Padro says he will hire a new chef for the new location, who will also get a chance to add to the menu. "We want to allow for some creativity," he notes, but Odell will have the final say: "Guys like Eli don't grow on trees."
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Of the SLOANS development, Padro says: "We're pretty excited about it. It's still north Denver. but it's a completely different neighborhood."
Getting in early with the developers of the property has made planning the restaurant much easier. "I really like this development and I think it's going to be cool," he adds. "They really want the best for the neighborhood. A lot of our kids who work for us live in the neighborhood and are excited to be a part of it."
Look for the new Tap and Burger at Sloan's Lake in March 2016.