The pace of construction at the new Eastbridge Town Center in Stapleton is fast and furious, but an end is in sight. The Eastbridge sign is up, and several restaurants are closing in on opening dates, including chef/restaurateur Lon Symensma's Concourse Restaurant Moderne, which he expects to unveil in mid- to late April.
Symensma, who also owns ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro and Cho77, is opening Concourse in partnership with chef Luke Bergman, who was brought on last year with the goal of expanding his restaurant holdings. Bergman will oversee Concourse as an all-day restaurant with a breakfast and espresso bar serving housemade pastries, with separate lunch and dinner menus leaning toward the New American style but anchored in European technique — a departure from Symensma's heavily Asian offerings at his other eateries.
The chef's vision for Concourse is being brought to life by the LIVstudio design team and Hive Construction. The restaurant will seat nearly 100 guests inside and an additional seventy on two patios. Design elements include an undulating wooden installment that flows from the ceiling and down one wall of the dining room, a fourteen-seat bar clad in luminescent glass tile, a panel of translucent glass separating the kitchen and dining room, and towering wine shelves to display Concourse's bottle selection, which will be a big focus of the beverage program.
Symensma has also brought on Christopher Massey as chief operating officer for the restaurant group, with plans for expansion beyond Concourse. "There is a very big goal to keep this thing going once we get rolling," Symensma explains. "We'd like to open a restaurant a year after this."
While the chef says it's too early to share details of those future eateries, he notes that ChoLon is the heart and soul of the operation, and he continues to push for perfection there to form a solid base for expansion. He also continues to tweak things at Cho77, where chef Ryan Gorby recently launched banh mi Mondays and Thai fried-chicken Tuesdays, and this summer a fold-down bench will be added to the storefront opposite the existing two-seater indoor-outdoor bar so that customers can hang out outside while waiting for a table or grab a seat for a quick Vietnamese sandwich.
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Concourse will not likely be the first restaurant to open at Eastbridge; chef Elise Wiggins's Cattivella is a little further along in construction. Those two will be joined by three other establishments across the plaza: another outpost of the Kitchen Next Door, and two from restaurateur Troy Guard — a breakfast place called Hashtag and his third Los Chingones. And on the west end of the plaza, Little Man Ice Cream will build a new kiosk for frozen treats to be called Constellation Ice Cream, which will utilize a 65-foot airplane wing as part of its roof and awning.