Openings and Closings

First Look: Freedom Street Social Is Arvada's New, Kid-Friendly Food Hall

Freedom Street Social was packed for its July 13 grand opening.
Freedom Street Social was packed for its July 13 grand opening. Molly Martin
What: Freedom Street Social

Where:
15177 Candelas Parkway, Arvada

When:
Open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to midnight Friday through Sunday

For more info:
Visit freedomstreetsocial.com
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Diners have eight options at Freedom Street Social.
Molly Martin
What we saw:
We spotted cows and horses on the way to the metro area's latest food hall, which is located in northwest Arvada — only a few minute from Superior if you take Indiana Street north. With no other food and drink options in the immediate vicinity save for a Wendy's and a Starbucks, this new collection of eight dining options is poised to be a huge draw for those who live in the neighborhood (and the employees at the SCL Health facility across the street).

While the packed house at the July 13 grand opening certainly bodes well for the future of Freedom Street Social, this food hall is a bit different from the ones that have been trending in Denver. Located in a King Soopers shopping center, it's not the sexiest design — but then, it's not supposed to be.

The food hall is more functional than hip, but still has enough character to avoid feeling like a mall food court. "People thought we were putting, like, a Sbarro in here," partner Nick Costanzo says. Instead, there's a mix of local talent and some thoughtful out-of-state additions.
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Cheesy tacos from Osito.
Molly Martin
Among the food options are Osito, the fast-casual iteration of Culinary Creative's Mr. Oso; Lea Jane's, which is dishing up huge fried chicken sandwiches; Balance Pan-Asian Grille, where you order via tablet for a quick, healthy option; Chicago deep-dish chain Giordano's; and Jeremiah's Italian ice — a big hit with the many children on hand for opening night.

"A kid-friendly food hall, if you will," Costanzo says of the concept, which the partners are currently working on bringing to Chicago as well.

In the mornings, Pressed Coffee & Vinyl offers a caffeine fix, and recent StarChefs Rising Star award winner Tajahi Cooke's the BKFST Club serves breakfast fare from a space that doubles as the Chef Kitchen, a unique residency program that will welcome a new guest chef every month. The program kicks off in August with North Carolina chef Tracy Rogers (you can book reservations for the three-course prix fixe menu, as well as Cooke's Supper Club, now on Tock).

Not everything was smooth at the grand opening. The ordering system using QR codes on the tables needs some refining — the bar struggled to keep up with the slew of tickets, and employees spent a lot of time wandering around, carrying trays and yelling names in search of the orders' owners. But those kinds of kinks are to be expected, and certainly didn't damper the spirited, celebratory vibes.
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There are homages to Costanza's grandmother throughout.
Molly Martin
What surprised us: The sweet story behind the name and many of the details. After Costanzo's mother passed away when he was five, his grandmothers stepped in to help raise him. Freedom Street is the name of the street where his Italian grandmother lived in Costanzo's hometown of Toledo, Ohio. He spent a lot of time there — and ate a lot of his grandmother's delicious food on Freedom Street.

The space has homages to her throughout, including wallpaper re-created from a print in her home and cocktails (created in partnership with the Culinary Creative team) named for her and the other partners' grandmothers.

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The bar at Freedom Street Social.
Molly Martin
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This is the first Jeremiah's location in Colorado.
Molly Martin
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Ordering is simple and efficient at Balance Pan-Asian Grille.
Molly Martin
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The hot chicken from Lea Jane's was a hit on opening night.
Molly Martin
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The space has plenty of seating options.
Molly Martin
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The upstairs lounge area offers a quieter escape.
Molly Martin
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Kids play in the outdoor area as a DJ plays at the grand opening.
Molly Martin
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This counter serves breakfast in the mornings and becomes the Chef Kitchen in the evenings.
Molly Martin
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Molly Martin is the Westword Food & Drink editor. She’s been writing about the dining scene in Denver since 2013, and was eating her way around the city long before that. She enjoys long walks to the nearest burrito joint and nights spent sipping cocktails on Colfax.
Contact: Molly Martin