First Look

First Look: Hearth & Dram Opens January 28 at 18th and Wewatta Streets

The towering whiskey bar at Hearh & Dram is illuminated by floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of the restaurant.
Danielle Lirette
The towering whiskey bar at Hearh & Dram is illuminated by floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of the restaurant.
The blocks behind Union Station are quickly becoming Denver's newest dining destination. The Pig & the Sprout arrived last summer, and Public School 303 rang its opening bell in October. And this weekend the neighborhood will welcome both Stella's on 16th and Hearth & Dram, which begins dinner service on Saturday, January 28, at the foot of the brand-new Hotel Indigo.

While the exterior of Hearth & Dram is clad in glass, inside it's a little more rustic, with leather-clad chairs, country-kitchen wainscoting and plaid upholstery to soften the modern, angular space above polished concrete floors. The "hearth" in the restaurant's name is the big, wood-fired grill in the kitchen that will turn out roast meats and vegetables, including "whole beast feasts" that must be ordered five days in advance and will feed six to ten diners. Choices include whole suckling pig, dry-aged glazed duck, salt-crusted whole sturgeon and a standing rib roast.
click to enlarge
Hearth & Dram's exterior doesn't give away what awaits inside.
Danielle Lirette
The "dram" side of the equation is a big, big whiskey list — some 360 strong, the largest selection downtown, according to the restaurant. There will even be whiskey on tap and a whiskey cart with special selections for connoisseurs with deep pockets. Of course, there will also be craft beers on tap and cocktails made with all manner of spirits, both clear and brown.

Executive chef Jeffrey Wall moved to Denver to take the job; he's cooked in French, Southern and rustic American kitchens in Atlanta and brings those skills to play with H & D's menu, which focuses on a Rocky Mountain brand of Americana. But Wall sources his ingredients from wherever he can find the best, noting that "supporting local is good for the economy, but it's not the only source."
click to enlarge
Hearth & Dram's dining room combines rustic and industrial elements.
Danielle Lirette
Hearth & Dram will initially be open for dinner only, from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; the restaurant plans to add lunch soon. Guests of the attached Hotel Indigo can also avail themselves of the kitchen's services.

Keep reading for more photos of Hearth & Dram.
click to enlarge
Hearth & Dram will also serve as the restaurant for the new Hotel Indigo.
Danielle Lirette
click to enlarge
The dining room provides a view into H & D's kitchen.
Danielle Lirette
click to enlarge
Danielle Lirette
click to enlarge
Leather and concrete make an unlikely match in the dining room.
Danielle Lirette
click to enlarge
A sign of the times at H & D.
Danielle Lirette
click to enlarge
Wood-fired cooking is a big part of Hearth & Dram's menu.
Danielle Lirette
click to enlarge
From this angle, you'd hardly know that the restaurant is set inside a modern glass-and-steel building.
Danielle Lirette
click to enlarge
Beer and whiskey at Hearth & Dram.
Danielle Lirette
click to enlarge
A Pappy Van Winkle sighting.
Danielle Lirette
click to enlarge
Hidebound chairs add a touch of the Old West.
Danielle Lirette
click to enlarge
Antique pieces decorate the shelves.
Danielle Lirette
click to enlarge
The lobby space between Hearth & Dram and the Hotel Indigo.
Danielle Lirette
click to enlarge
Hotel Indigo guests can enter through this circular lobby.
Danielle Lirette
click to enlarge
Bartenders prep for the upcoming opening.
Danielle Lirette
click to enlarge
Hearth & Dram's opening menu.
Danielle Lirette