When Jane Knauf and Brett Shaheen set out to create their Italian restaurant, the Wooden Table, in 2011, it took them only three months to remodel a vacant space in Cherry Hills Village and throw open the doors to the public. But progress was a little slower when the two decided to open their second restaurant. Finally, after three years of planning, and following lease negotiations that began more than a year ago, they're ready to launch Brodo Italian Scratch Kitchen in Belmar. Opening night is Friday, December 16, at 7167 West Alaska Drive.
Shaheen explains that Brodo will be a more casual sibling to the Wooden Table, which he considers a little more formal and elegant than the new eatery. Like the Wooden Table, Brodo will serve both lunch and dinner, but will maintain the same menu all day, so hot and cold Italian sandwiches — like stacked grinders or meatball subs — can be ordered for dinner, too. But attention to detail on the menu, with handmade pastas and a variety of classic Italian dishes, will carry over from the first restaurant.
"We want to be Belmar's neighborhood restaurant," Knauf explains. To make that happen, Brodo needed a bigger dining room, where families and groups of friends could feel comfortable. Knauf and Shaheen chose the space formerly occupied by the Oven pizzeria, then knocked out a wall to take over the square footage next door, which a Jamba Juice outpost had recently vacated.
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The resulting bar and dining room feel spacious and airy, with a high ceiling and a garage door that will open onto an expansive patio. Knauf says she wanted to minimize environmental impact, so much of the decor consists of reclaimed materials. Tabletops, for example, were crafted from reused wood by a furniture maker in Taos.
At the bar, two red and three white wines will flow from taps, while the remainder of the wine list comprises American and Italian vintners, with a broader, more budget-oriented range than the Wooden Table's strictly Italian offerings. And while there are no beer taps, Brodo will stock a solid list of Colorado craft beers by the bottle.
Shaheen and Knauf are Lakewood residents and look forward to the short commute to their new restaurant, as well as to welcoming their friends and neighbors. Shaheen points out that Lakewood is a big city with few options for dining out, so he's excited to tap into a community looking for new options that don't involve driving to oversaturated Denver neighborhoods.
Brodo will throw open the doors next Friday with complimentary glasses of prosecco and appetizers, and then will maintain regular hours from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (10 on Fridays and Saturdays) every day of the week.