The stretch of East 17th Avenue between Broadway and City Park continues to be a hotbed of restaurant activity. Recent lauded additions like Argyll and Olive & Finch are now claiming territory alongside such veterans as Steuben's and Il Posto. And this week one more kitchen will fire up its burners: The District.
Co-owner Kerry Condon says that after a soft opening for family and friends tomorrow, the District will open its doors to the public for lunch on Thursday starting at 10:30 a.m. And the place will be open until 2 a.m. daily after that.
The bar at the District will focus on Colorado spirits and craft beers (as well as standards from the big brewers), with 29 tap handles, while the menu will skew toward fun interpretations of American standards and bar favorites, Condon says. The menu is hard to pigeonhole: "We don't want to call it comfort food, because we don't want people to think it's heavy, but 'new American' doesn't fit, either," he notes. "We feel like we offer a solid value at a lower price point than other restaurants in the area."
The District will also offer something rare in the neighborhood: a kitchen that serves its full dinner menu until last call.
The District's appetizer menu features fries loaded with either chorizo, crispy pastrami or bleu cheese and bacon. Bacon also shows up prominently in other areas of the menu: a BBBLT piles three kinds of housemade bacon -- pork, duck and lamb -- between sourdough bread with lettuce, tomato and roasted garlic aioli. But the menu also includes such thought-out vegetarian plates as Cuban "pulled pork" made from smoked spaghetti squash served with black beans, sofrito and fried plantain.
The bar and dark-wood dining room will seat about 100 guests, while glass garage doors that open to an ample patio with forty additional seats facing 17th should ensure that guests will feel like a welcome part of the neighborhood.
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The owners of the building, who also own the Thai Basil chain, had originally planned to open a Vietnamese restaurant called iPho in the space, but Condon says they decided to focus on other projects instead. That's when he and his partners grabbed the location to develop into the District.