Nearly three years ago, in July of 2008, the original Chinook Tavern, one of Denver's only German restaurants, shuttered in Cherry Creek, and while the family who owns Chinook -- manager Clemens Georg, executive chef Markus Georg, patriarch Manfred Georg, and matriarch Lieselotte Georg -- had secured a new parcel of land for a build-out in the Landmark project, that space never caught wind. The Georgs, however, persevered, and on Monday, they unleashed a new 9,000-square-foot restaurant on South Fiddler's Green Circle, in a suburban office park near the Tech Center.
"The Landmark deal had a lot of issues, and, to be honest, it was kind of in disarray, and while we tried to make it work, it just didn't come together," says Clemens, adding that Shea Properties, the developer of Arapahoe at Village Center, where Chinook now resides, made the build-out a breeze. "They were terrific, and I love the exterior of the building, I love the surroundings, I love being on the light rail, and this is great space that's both modern and timeless." The goal, he notes, "was to have the same warm European feel that we had in Cherry Creek, while incorporating contemporary touches."
I stopped in on Tuesday night, the day after Chinook opened, to check out the quarters and have dinner, which was excellent, especially the mussels bobbing in a mellow yellow curry scented with lemongrass. I was impressed with the beer and wine syllabuses, too, as well as the fact that the Goerg clan managed to take a beast of a space and make it feel intimate. "I told my dad, who was the architect, everything that I was dreaming about, and from this giant space, I had ideas for every single corner," says Clement.
Here's a photographic tour.
Chinook's stylish horseshoe bar is a highlight, tricked-out with more than two dozen chairs, a community table, floor-to-ceiling windows, hightops, tables and booths. All of the kaleidoscopic artwork, including the paintings in this room, were created by local artist Lieselotte Georg. All of the tables, constructed from reclaimed heart-of-pine, are oversize, and this one, says manager Clemens Georg, is his favorite. The gigantic space, encompassing more than 9,000 square feet, includes a comfy lounge area bedecked with black leather sofas, several private dining rooms and a "Zermatt Room," dedicated to raclette and fondue. The copper beer tap in the bar pours more than a dozen German brews. Each morning, Chinook unloads jolts of java from its coffee bar trumpeting a a full barista menu of coffees and teas as well as in-house pastries and baked goods. Mussels in a yellow coconut curry and lemongrass broth plated with grilled flat bread. Snake River pork belly and pork tenderloin with sunchoke mousse, heirloom baby carrots and cider glaze. Ruby red trout with heirloom baby carrots and lobster butter.
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