First Look

Four Friends Kitchen Opens Second Location on South University

University neighborhood residents can start the day with smoked-brisket hash.
University neighborhood residents can start the day with smoked-brisket hash. Mark Antonation
Two and a half years ago, four friends living in Stapleton opened their own breakfast eatery after lamenting the dearth of options available in the neighborhood. It seems neighbors agreed about the need; their restaurant, aptly named Four Friends Kitchen, was a near-instant success, drawing residents from around northeast Denver for Southern-inspired breakfast, a mix of hearty and healthy lunch options, and a rooftop patio where adults could enjoy cocktails while the kids ate and played.

Now those four friends, Kurt and Sarah Pletcher and Genefer and Tim Thornton, are hoping to replicate the success of their first eatery with a new Four Friends Kitchen, which opened this morning at 2070 South University Boulevard. The neighborhood demographic is a little different, with college kids from the nearby University of Denver and older homes with established residents, but there are also plenty of young families within walking distance and high traffic volume at the intersection of University and East Evans Avenue.

click to enlarge Four Friends Kitchen is now serving breakfast and lunch at University and Evans. - MARK ANTONATION
Four Friends Kitchen is now serving breakfast and lunch at University and Evans.
Mark Antonation
Version 2.0 is smaller and cozier than the original and sports a more urban vibe, with a large wall mural inside and garage windows that open onto the bustling sidewalk outside. But the bright oranges and greens of the first Four Friends can be found here, too, along with shelves filled with Etch-a-Sketches and other toys for kids to keep them occupied while the eggs and pancakes cook.

The menu will be familiar to those who have breakfasted on the grits bowls, smoked-brisket hash or eggs Benedict stacked with fried green tomatoes and crab at the Stapleton flagship. Lunch leans Southern, too, with fried chicken and waffles; chili mac served with chicken tenders and collard greens; and po' boy sandwiches loaded with a choice of shrimp, Andouille sausage, fried chicken or portabello mushrooms.


click to enlarge Outside the new Four Friends Kitchen. - MARK ANTONATION
Outside the new Four Friends Kitchen.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge The space is considerably sunnier than the former sports bar. - MARK ANTONATION
The space is considerably sunnier than the former sports bar.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge The dining room of the new Four Friends Kitchen. - MARK ANTONATION
The dining room of the new Four Friends Kitchen.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge The bar is a great place for weekend brunch. - MARK ANTONATION
The bar is a great place for weekend brunch.
Mark Antonation
A garage window opens onto South University Boulevard. - MARK ANTONATION
A garage window opens onto South University Boulevard.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge Co-owner Genefer Thornton is ready for new customers. - MARK ANTONATION
Co-owner Genefer Thornton is ready for new customers.
Mark Antonation
While there's no rooftop patio at this location, there's a full bar serving Colorado beers on tap, creative cocktails with boozy versions of Southern quenchers (think lemonade and sweet tea), and a fall-inspired pumpkin spice latte spiked to make weekend brunch a little more relaxing.

The new Four Friends Kitchen is open from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for breakfast and lunch. Call the restaurant at 720-596-4053 or visit the FFK website for more information.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation