You've already signed up for monthly music, television, gym and other services, and if you're even more modern, maybe your socks and underwear are coming via mail through a monthly subscription. So why not dinner and drinks?
The idea of restaurant subscription services sprang up in bigger cities during the pandemic as a way to generate an income stream while dining rooms remained closed or at partial capacity. Some eateries have offered prepaid in-house dining programs while others have been sending food home to customers. That's the idea that American Elm owner Bob Reiter latched onto — not just as a way to get through the pandemic, but to meet demand he'd been hearing from customers.
American Elm, at 4132 West 38th Avenue, had already been selling weekly meal and cocktail kits from chef Brent Turnipseede and bartender Jesse Torres, including fresh pasta packages, packs of five pre-made heat-and-eat meals for a whole week's worth of dinners, and wine and charcuterie boards. But Reiter says he was also getting requests for higher-end dinners that could be finished in his customers' home kitchens.
"Subscription services are part and parcel with modern life," Reiter explains. "People are familiar with the concept and are looking for convenience. It's an evolution of what we started right when the locktown began."
American Elm partnered with Table 22, an online restaurant subscription company, to make the monthly service available to folks at home. There's a supper club that comes with dinner for two or four, plus a wine add-on; a wine club with either four or six bottles a month; and a cocktail club with either four, six or eight 16-ounce bottled cocktails each month. All of the subscriptions come with tasting notes and educational materials for the food and beverages delivered.
Reiter notes that the cocktail program is great for people who are interested in premium spirits but don't want to build up a large inventory of uncommon products often required to make specialty drinks. "Jesse does such a great job; he's such a knowledgeable guy, and he's making cocktails using multiple spirits and fresh, seasonal ingredients."
Turnipseede's dinner club menus will also rely more on "upscale, chef-driven ingredients than the more home-style weekly meal kits, Reiter adds.
The subscription clubs kicked off this month, but if you want to get started in May, just sign up on Table 22 before the end of April, and your first order will be ready on May 10. Once you sign up, the service will automatically charge your credit card each month and the kits will be ready on the second Monday of each month. There's no contract or commitment, so you can cancel at any point.
Of course, you can still dine at the restaurant, order takeout or delivery, or make selections from the website's Elm at Home section. Call 720-749-3186 to reach the restaurant or 303-877-1073 to place pick-up and delivery orders. Visit American Elm's website for complete hours for dining in, takeout or delivery (which is handled in-house).