There's been lots of talk about Root Down, the restaurant that Justin Cucci, former co-owner of Ye Waverly Inn in New York City, plans to open in an old service station at 1600 West 33rd Avenue, at the corner of Osage Street. One such conversation -- recorded by Drink of the Week columnist Nancy Levine during a visit to twelverestaurant -- is captured above. (We're vague on the Beasty Boys reference, since we understood that "root down" is a jazz term.)
A month ago, Cucci was hopeful that he'd get his place -- a "field-to-fork" restaurant with an emphasis on fresh, regional Colorado ingredients (some from an onsite garden that will go in next spring) -- open by December 1. He already had a staff in place, including Michael Ivey running the front of the house, and Ryan Leinonen, formerly of the Kitchen in Boulder, as exec chef with Austin Bealmear as sous chef. But the renovation didn't look anywhere close to ready when we drove by yesterday.
And Cucci and company will have to complete construction before they can finish off the decor -- "imagine an old bowling alley as a bar and repurposed '50s items on the wall," Root Down's not-quite-needed-yet announcement advises.
We'll be imagining that while we wait for a firmer opening date on Root Down, one of a series of garden-inspired restaurants (think the Kitchen, Black Cat, Bistro One) suddenly springing up to join longtime leader Potager. And we'll also be imagining sitting out on the deck come spring, enjoying the stunning view of downtown from the promised outdoor patio and food fresh from Root Down's garden.