Huckleberry Roasters launched a new food concept this weekend with a pop-up breakfast on Saturday. Chef Chris Bell, formerly of Potager, is the steam behind the food portion of the coffee shop, and was found in the kitchen dishing up breakfast sandwiches on a sunny morning. For now, Bell's menu will only be served at weekly Saturday pop-ups, but come mid-May, the coffee shop plans to transition to a larger but still simple slate, available every day of the week as part of a restaurant re-brand.
Dubbed Port Side as a reference to the shipping-container architecture of 2500 Larimer Street, Huckleberry's new identity currently includes a little remodeling to accommodate a small kitchen in its small coffee shop.
Having spent eleven years in the kitchen at Potager, Bell speaks fondly of his time at the Cap Hill eatery, but is excited for this new adventure. When I ask about the change in scenery, Bell says, "It's different, a little bit of change, but I'm still in the kitchen and still using a lot of the same relationships, just on a smaller scale."
Bell will utilize a familiar local platform, using vendors like Oxford Farms, Grateful Bread and Cottonwood Creek for items like arugula, bread and pork belly, respectively.
The pop-up menu currently offers breakfast sandwiches, but once it expands, it will encompass lunchtime sandwiches, salads and brats. Port Side has also applied for a liquor license, so patrons will soon be able to grab a drink while they dine. Last weekend, the crowd was very family-oriented on Saturday, with bearded dads toting babies like accessories. The pop-up proved to be great spot to grab a tasty and quick breakfast without waiting an hour to sit down — a rarity in the weekend breakfast scene.
After I said a quick hello and inhaled the number one, an egg sandwich with ginger-soy cabbage and sriracha mayo on a potato bun, Bell slid me a Port Side sticker across the counter like he was passing me drugs and said, "Put this somewhere it shouldn't be." He's welcoming, has a sense of humor and makes a killer breakfast sandwich. From the looks of it, Huckleberry and Chris Bell have a long, happy road ahead of them.