Update — July 6, 2017, 2:45 p.m.: TAG restaurant group informed us today that the opening of Hashtag has been delayed from July 7 until sometime next week because of a delay in the final liquor license paperwork. The exact date has not yet been determined.
Troy Guard, one of Denver's most prolific restaurateurs, is having a busy couple of weeks: June 26 saw the launch of a third outpost of Los Chingones, and July 7 will bring alive his take on breakfast at Hashtag. "I loved breakfast as a kid," says the chef. "I always wanted to do a breakfast joint, and it’s finally coming to fruition."
Both restaurants are located in Stapleton's Eastbridge Town Center (at 10195 East 29th Drive, just shy of Havana Street), which is home to a handful of new restaurants, including Cattivella from Elise Wiggins, Concourse Restaurant Moderne from Luke Bergman and Lon Symensma and a fourth local outlet of Next Door from the Kitchen. "I’ve lived in the area for five years, and the area has been under-serviced," says Guard by way of explanation for the explosion of options. And that goes particularly for breakfast: "The Stanley really helps; there are three breakfast places there, so we have some competition. But the area needs it and wants it. People work form home more now; they have different hours — they can go out at 8, 9, 10 a.m. and grab brunch for a meeting."
Guard says Hashtag will follow the vibe of his other restaurants, with "a great fun atmosphere. It’ll be lively, we'll play '70s funk music, and we incorporated the egg yolk color — it will be bright and friendly in there."
And the food, he says, will be "everything I like to eat. Breakfast is the most important part of the day. We'll have proteins and savory, healthy stuff on there. Then there will be some heavier stuff — carbs and pancakes."
Look for a menu divided into several sections, including a variety of takes on eggs Benedict, omelets, carbs, starters and Mexican options. The chef cites a pastrami hash, built on pastrami smoked in-house, and a lamb-neck Benedict smothered with green chile Hollandaise. He'll have a broad selection of pancakes, plus breakfasts he grew up eating, like kimchi fried rice, and his homage to loco moco, a Hawaiian staple that combines burger patties, eggs, rice and brown gravy. And Hashtag will offer freshly baked cinnamon rolls, biscuits and scones each day, too.
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Some of the dishes on the list may look familiar — Guard is trotting out a few specials from his other restaurants' brunches and giving them a permanent home at Hashtag. One example: The Lucky Charms waffles that make the list at TAG every Mother's Day and Easter (the only days Guard's flagship restaurant does brunch). The kitchen makes a waffle from the cereal and then tops it with mascarpone, fruit and, of course, Lucky Charms marshmallows.
Supplementing all that food will be an inventive morning-focused drinks program created by Nikki Guard and Michael Cerratani; look for, among other cocktails, a Screwdriver slushie.
Once Hashtag is open, Guard plans to serve breakfast from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on the weekends. Eventually, he'd like to push the hours to be open all day. "A lot of people have asked me to offer breakfast for dinner," he says. "We’ll see; we’ll feel it out."