Allen Milham and I are sitting on the floor of the United Airlines terminal at LaGuardia airport discussing dessert, our brains still high on sugar from the James Beard House dinner, created by a fleet of Denver chefs, that brought us to New York in the first place. Denver, concludes Milham, who, along with his partner, Darrell Naughton, own Organic Pizza Company, needs a dessert bar.
And in November, he and Naughton will open one, just a few doors down from the second Organic Pizza Company (the original store is located in Highland), which starting tossing pizzas in the Spire, 891 14th Street, last year.
Crave Dessert Bar & Lounge, which will occupy the Northeast corner of the Spire high rise, will open in early November unleashing breakfast and java, tea and scones, wine, beer and cocktails, and, of course, dessert. "Keegan Gerhard, who owns D Bar in Uptown, does some great stuff, but downtown Denver doesn't have a dessert bar, and it's about time that we do, especially since we have so many residents in the Spire and we're so close to the theater," explains Milham.
"We're going to have three distinct personalities," he reveals: "The mornings will be all about grab-and-go breakfasts and coffee -- and we'll brew Intelligentsia coffee, which is a whole lot better than Starbuck's." Lunch, he notes, will focus not on sandwiches, but on afternoon tea. "We want to do an edgy high tea with a funky spin, so rather than serving traditional teas, we'll do some great things with sweet teas and teas with a kick, and we'll serve flavored scones to go along with them." And, at night, says Milham, the space will morph into a bona fide dessert bar with plated sweets designed for pairing with beer, wine and cocktails.
And Milham and Naughton, both of whom are music and theater geeks, also plan to host cast parties and open the lounge to live music acts. "We're partnering with the theater district, and we have a cabaret license, so we're definitely going to host some really cool cast parties, and we'll have live music a few times a month," he says, adding that the dessert bar will also feature the work of local artists and photographers.
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"It's a really awesome space, with lots of browns and earth tones, and we'll have a ton of great local art, a bunch of different seating sections and the largest patio on Fourteenth Street," notes Milham.
He and Naughton will also donate 10 percent of all proceeds generated from the sale of one dessert and one cocktail to Metro CareRing, a local hunger relief nonprofit that promotes healthy eating and provides hunger relief and self-sufficiency services to low-income and homeless individuals. "It's important to give back, and this is an organization that's doing some amazing things," says Milham.
When Crave unlocks its doors in November, it will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight. Stay tuned for more details on the opening date.