When we last spoke with Lucien Reichert in March, he had just signed a lease on the restaurant space at 3550 East Colfax Avenue, once occupied by Humble Pie. He knew he wanted to open a breakfast spot, but he still wasn't sure what he'd call it or exactly how the menu would look. But eight months later, Fox Run Cafe is taking shape, and Reichert has targeted January 20 as the opening day.
The budding chef/restaurateur, who graduated from the accelerated program at Cook Street School of Culinary Arts while working at the Plimoth, Vert Kitchen and To the Wind Bistro (he even spent six months at Chipotle to learn about restaurant efficiency), chose the location for Fox Run because it happened to be in the neighborhood where he recently bought a house. "I found the space that I love — and I get to live in this neighborhood and have my business here. That's very important to me," he states.
But he also admits the property wasn't perfect for his original plan. For one thing, Humble Pie never had a full kitchen, since the pies were all baked at a commissary kitchen. So he had to install a kitchen, taking up some of the square footage that had previously been dining space. That led to his decision to make the cafe counter service rather than table service (per his original plan), which guided how the menu evolved.
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Reichert hired Unum Collaborative (which at the time had its office just down the street) to redesign the restaurant, with Mercurial Contractors handling the construction. With the work nearly complete, he turned his attention to the menu. Reichert had already hired pastry chef Kelsie Berens, who, he'd worked with at the Plimoth, and the two decided that housemade sourdough bread would be one of the foundations of the breakfast roster. There will be toasts built on the bread, plus breakfast sandwiches, granola, overnight oats, and breakfast tacos and burritos. He also promises à la carte plates with eggs your way and a choice of meats, as well as a few other larger plates. For lunch and dinner, sandwiches, salads and other dishes will be the focus. There won't be an espresso machine, but "just a damn good cup of coffee," Reichert adds, noting that he's also in the process of transferring the liquor license to his new business.
The cafe owner says people often ask him if he plans to make Fox Run scalable, so that he can eventually open more of them around town. But as a Denver near-native (he's been here since he was five), he explains that he worries about the way that the restaurant scene has grown, with developers bringing in "concepts" that pop up all over the city without regard to what neighborhoods want. "This is for Colfax and for my neighborhood," he states. "I want it to really have a soul, someplace where you feel comfortable right away."