Cafe Society

Arugula chef Alec Schuler and HUSH founder Phil Armstrong will open Tangerine in Boulder in early April

Boulder, insists Phil Armstrong, the founder of HUSH, and, for a nanosecond, the general manager of Radex Bistro, which closed last October, needs more breakfast joints.

Alec Schuler, owner/executive chef of Arugula, a farm-to-table restaurant in Boulder, shares the same sentiment, and when two restaurant minds think alike, things happen -- the hatching of a new breakfast emporium, for example, which is on the horizon for Armstrong and Schuler, the two of whom will open Tangerine in the former Radex Bistro space in April. "There's no such thing as too many breakfast places, and Alec and I have been religiously eating breakfast all over Boulder, and we want to do for breakfast what Arugula has done for dinner: offer really great service, a great product and bring the same care to breakfast that restaurants do to dinner," says Armstrong, who's currently working at Arugula as a server, while he puts together the new restaurant and plans future events for HUSH.

The space, which sits directly next door to Arugula, will seat 50, and is being designed by Stantec (formerly CommArts), the same group that designed the SPIRE in Denver. "We're completely redoing the old space, making it light and bright, putting in a reclaimed wood ceiling, adding a bar and a lot more booths, and when we're done, it's going to look incredibly cool," explains Armstrong, adding that it will also have space to do private parties.

Schuler will divide his time between Arugula and Tangerine, and according to Armstrong, the breakfast board will be anything but ordinary. "Alec's food is really impressive and he has tremendous respect for his craft, which will be evident in his breakfast menu," says Armstrong. "We're going to look and feel accommodating, warm and comfortable, but we really want to bring high-quality breakfast to Boulder." Morning revelers will see dishes that they expect -- pancake samplers and French toast, for instance -- assures Armstrong, but Schuler will also pimp the unexpected. "Alex is doing a cassoulet with eggs; green eggs and ham that'll be an eggs Benedict made with prosciutto, pesto and Fontina; and a puttanesca scramble with sundried tomatoes, capers, onions and fresh oregano," cites Armstrong. And, he says, all of the pastries will be made in-house.

Armstrong and Schuler are gunning for an April 1 opening, at which time, Arugula will have completed its own expansion, knocking out a wall between the dining room there and where the bar used to be at Radex Bistro, giving Arugula an extra 800-square feet for overflow and private parties.

When Tangerine opens, it will serve breakfast all day, every day, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., although a short lunch menu, a cobble of sandwiches and salads, will also be available from 11 a.m. onwards.

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