Not everything opening up in the blocks behind Union Station is a wood-fired restaurant or lavish eatery from an out-of-town corporation. There's a Whole Foods going in on 17th between Chestnut and Wewatta streets, which will include a second outpost of Birdcall, the chicken-sandwich joint that opened this summer in Five Points from the team behind Park Burger.
Bircall co-owners Jean-Phillipe Failyau and Peter Newlin had already announced that an outpost of their quick-service concept is being built in a former Twister's Burgers & Burritos at 1535 East Evans Avenue, but it looks like the Whole Foods location will come in first.
Newlin was a speaker at the first day of Denver Startup Week, where he talked about the importance of technology in new restaurants, the difficulty of hiring contractors in the construction-crazy Denver market, and the new Whole Foods location, which he says will be a complete restaurant on its own (rather than a counter-service kiosk like the Biju's Little Curry Shop operations at Whole Foods in Boulder and at Tamarac in South Denver), complete with approximately 100 seats inside and out, a bar with two dozen local beers on tap, and its own outdoor signs as part of the "Friends of Whole Foods Market" concept. Because of the arrangement, this will also be the first Whole Foods grocery store in Colorado that will sell beer and wine to customers inside the store.
Considering the recent purchase of Whole Foods by Amazon, the use of technology in food service seems appropriate. Could Amazon drone delivery of chicken sandwiches be far away?
Birdcall expects to open downtown in mid-November, also serving burgers, salads, chicken fingers and milkshakes, with the East Evans branch scheduled before year-end, as well.