Opening a restaurant is a risky proposition in the best of times, but Lucien Reichert is meeting an even bigger challenge head on by opening his breakfast and lunch spot, Fox Run Cafe, in the midst of a pandemic and statewide restaurant shutdown. Fox Run will open for business at 3550 East Colfax Avenue beginning Wednesday, March 18 — for takeout only, of course.
Reichert originally planned to open the cafe in late January, but permitting and inspection delays pushed the launch out another month and a half. But rather than continue to postpone the opening, he decided that he and his team — just general manager and baker Kelsie Berens and kitchen manager Lauren Brendel for now — would launch the business with a short menu of to-go items and coffee. Here's Reichert's message from the Fox Run Cafe Instagram page:
Opening a restaurant is difficult. Opening a restaurant in the midst of a global pandemic is… something else.
At Fox Run, we are certainly not feeling sorry for ourselves or upset that we cannot have a grand opening. In truth, we never really cared about a grand opening. We wanted to be 6 months into business operations, kicking ass, supporting an incredible team, and gaining trust within our new community.
Despite the added challenges, we continue to feel blessed with the opportunity ahead of us. The past few weeks have not drained our spirits. They have given us tremendous gratitude and perspective. We really are all in this together, and we understand that this is hard on everyone. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to help serve our most basic needs to our community in difficult times.
We will still open for business on Wednesday, March 18th. We’ll be offering a limited menu for takeaway (think sourdough loaves, banana bread, pastries, salads, and sandwiches). There are just three of us prepping food and serving and we will take every single precaution when it comes to sanitation and cleanliness.
We will post as soon as possible about our offerings and quantities. And we will continue to make decisions that keep all of us safe and cared for. Thank you in advance for any support you can give us and please stay safe.
All the best,
Fox Run Cafe
Fox Run will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m Wednesday through Sunday for the time being, and will offer baked goods such as banana bread, whole sourdough loaves, pastries and egg buns, along with sandwiches and salads. Coffee is available in drip or cold brew from Queen City Collective Coffee. Last week (before the statewide bar and restaurant shutdown), we stopped in for brown sugar cookies, cream puffs dipped in dark chocolate ganache, bread pudding made with a combo of sourdough and banana breads, brioche doughnuts filled with coffee cream, and breakfast sandwiches built on housemade buns that achieve a texture somewhere between brioche and a squishy burger bun. While these may not all be available immediately, they give an idea of what you can expect.
Reichert's path to restaurant ownership began when he was a kid working in a relative's sandwich shop. He knew then that the community aspect of serving food had hooked him. "You make friends with people — you hear everyone's life stories," he says.
After college, Reichert got a job at Chipotle just to see how a streamlined kitchen and food-service business operated, though he had no plans to climb the corporate ladder there. Instead, he enrolled in professional classes at the Cook Street School of Culinary Arts, and then worked in several respected restaurants, including Vert Kitchen, To the Wind Bistro and the Plimoth, where he met Berens, who was the pastry chef at the time.
The original goal was to open for five days a week and then gradually ease into Mondays and Tuesdays as well, but for now, Reichert is keeping the menu small and the hours short to see how the Congress Park neighborhood responds. He lives just a few blocks from the restaurant, so if you're up early enough you may see him on his way into work.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.