Cafe Society

A trio of restaurant openings

September is off to a fast start, with three restaurants opening in as many days.

On September 1, SALT Bistro served its first lunch in the former Tom's Tavern space, at 1047 Pearl Street in Boulder. Owner-exec chef Bradford Heap, who also runs Colterra in Niwot, had hoped to open SALT in May, but he now admits that was wishful thinking. "None of my projections were based on reality, just my desires," he said. One thing on which Heap stayed firm: naming a dish in honor of Tom Eldridge, who opened Tom's in 1959 and ran the operation until he passed away in 2007. "I planned to do that from day one," Heap said of the Tom's Tavern Burger.

And the rest of the menu? "We're doing fun, affordable, simple, seasonal food and supporting those that do right by Mother Nature," explained Heap, who incorporates many of the same practices at Colterra. "Just call me Johnny Local... We're taking our food away from corporate greed and making good choices by buying as much as we can on a local level."

Here's Heap's short explanation for his new restaurant's name: Salt has been the "civilizing taste for over 6,000 years...and is necessary for the survival of all known living creatures." The menu goes into much more detail, and you'll have plenty of time to read all about it, since SALT is now open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

On Wednesday, September 2, Brio Tuscan Grill opened in the renovated former home of Macaroni Grill in Cherry Creek. It's part of the Brio/Bravo Restaurant Group, which is busy putting Brio restaurants, as well as Bravo! Cucina Italiana and Bon Vie Bistro outlets, around the country. The first Brio in Colorado opened last August in the Vistas in Park Meadows; Gina Bommarito, a sous chef there, is now the exec chef in Cherry Creek.

And on Thursday, September 3, Modmarket opened at 1600 28th Street in Boulder, in the struggling 29th Street retail district. But since Boulderites have a thing for green and Modmarket's menu promises that it's "created from ingredients like you find along the perimeter of your local know, fresh produce, the highest quality of meats and grains," it might be exactly what the outdoor shopping mall was waiting for. Troy Guard, owner and exec chef of TAG, consulted on the menu. "All of the really great stuff on the menu is Troy's doing; the rest is mine," joked Modmarket chef and managing partner Anthony Pigliacampo.

This week is cooking, too. Interstate Kitchen & Bar is slated to open in the former home of the Santa Fe Tequila Company at 901 West 10th Avenue. And Lucy, the restaurant in the Comedy Works South that went on hiatus July 2, should reopen by September 10.

No joke.

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