Chef Troy Guard's restaurant empire keeps growing. The latest to take shape is Mister Tuna, which is scheduled to open in mid-July in the Industry building on Brighton Boulevard. Guard grew up in Hawaii, and Mister Tuna is the nickname his father earned as an avid boater, fisherman and outdoor cook. While the newest in the lineup that includes TAG, Guard and Grace, Lucky Cat and Bubu won't be specifically Hawaiian or seafood-themed, wood-fired grills, smokers and a meat-heavy menu will pay tribute to Guard's childhood spent grilling outdoors with his dad.
The 3,500-square-foot space was originally slated to become a German beer hall from restaurateur Robert Thompson, founder of Punch Bowl Social, but that deal fell through more than a year ago. Guard's vision for the long, narrow room includes a bar that runs nearly the entire length and will be divided into a chef's counter, a cocktail bar, a raw bar (of course) and a pickle bar — something new from Guard — that will feature jars of nearly everything (fruit, berries and vegetables) in season at any particular time.
The open kitchen will feature a wood-burning rotisserie where Guard's team will roast lamb, duck, rabbit and sides of pork and beef. A smoker and a fresh-pasta station are also part of the plan.
Guard's team includes general manager Mario Nocifera (most recently co-owner of Lower48 Kitchen) and beverage-program director Michael Cerretani, who is working with Nikki Guard to come up with cocktails for Mister Tuna. A chef has yet to be named.
The restaurant will seat a total of 115 guests, including a forty-seat patio and a small mezzanine, accessible from a spiral staircase near the front entrance, with room for eight to fourteen people. Hours have yet to be announced, but Mister Tuna will be open for lunch and dinner, with brunch to be added shortly after opening and the possibility of weekday breakfast also being weighed.
Guard is currently working on opening another TAG Burger Bar at 3940 West 32nd Avenue, as well as a third Los Chingones and a new breakfast concept, both of which will be located in the Eastbridge development in Stapleton.