Blackbird Takes Flight Today by West Washington Park

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Blackbird, the latest from Table to Tavern partners Rob Lanphier and Angie and Brian Midtbo, who also own Atticus and Boone's Tavern, is opening today at 3 p.m., in the space that formerly held HandleBar Tavern and Abo's. A grand opening is scheduled for next Monday, December 1, at which point Blackbird will also begin daily lunch service at 11 a.m. Weekend brunch will be added beginning December 11. While the restaurant is designed to appeal to a broad range of customers, the primary focus is on a comfortable, casual and unpretentious setting with a creative but not intimidating menu.

See also: Humble Pie Signs Lease for New Location on Colfax

Brian Midtbo describes the cuisine and vibe as Napa-inspired and clean, and says that at least 30 percent of the menu will be vegetarian. House-made ingredients and international touches dot the menu of chef Thomas Newsted (an alum of Kevin Taylor's Limelight and Palettes), including Table to Tavern's signature smoked chicken wings with sauces that aim more for unique flavor than searing heat. Although bar bites and shareable snacks, such as crispy chicken skin with kumquat harissa yogurt sauce and a "potted pig" made from shredded cheek meat flecked with herbs and mustard seed, are part of the relaxed and rustic fare, a level of sophistication is evident in the lamb T-bone, whole fried branzino (which will make occasional off-menu appearances) and teres major steak tartare.

"We would feel honored if Blackbird became a destination," says Midtbo, "but ultimately we hope 85 percent of our business comes from the neighborhood." As part of the neighborhood appeal, the space now includes a community room that guests can use for group gatherings. Lanphier expects customers to range from groups of friends looking for a quiet evening with drinks to later, industry employees attracted to the bar program, designed by Sean Kenyon of Williams & Graham. Expect an approachable beer, wine and cocktail list with fun touches like an after-10 p.m. shot and beer special.

And the plans don't end there: According to Midtbo, the team hopes to add a weekday farmer's market in the parking lot during the growing season that will offer fresh fruit and vegetables from the farmers that Blackbird will rely on for much of its produce.

Keep reading for more photos from Blackbird.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.