Where Mona's moved out at 2364 15th Street, Just Be Kitchen is getting ready to open a different style of breakfast and lunch eatery. Founder Jennifer Peters and chef/partner Carrie Baird hope to have the nutrition-oriented restaurant open by the end of April.
Baird's menu focuses on paleo foundations: gluten-free, grain-free recipes with plenty of meat and egg options, all from grass-fed or pasture-raised animals. Highlights include housemade grain-free burger buns, tortillas and English muffins; a "meatzza" with a sausage patty instead of a standard pizza crust; bone broth with customizable add-ins (turmeric, garlic and other superfoods); bullet-style coffee enriched with MCT oil and butter; and healthy salads like a cashew Caesar. Coffee beans will be sourced from Method Roasters and Copper Door Coffee.
The restaurant will be set up with counter service and a coffee bar at one end, with shabby-chic decor, an enclosed patio and inspirational quotes scattered across the walls (including a chalkboard wall where you can add your own response to "If I weren't afraid, I'd..."). "We want to give a different face to the current fast-casual scene," Peters, who plans to open multiple outposts of Just Be in the coming years, explains.
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Peters says Just Be Kitchen will appeal to those with food allergies and intolerances; people who "want to be their better self" — including high-performance athletes as well as everyday folks just looking for healthy alternatives; and residents in the neighborhood looking for well-made food in a casual setting.
Changes to the space from its previous incarnation include a pale-blue color scheme that gives a light and relaxing air to the dining room; white-washed floors and tile accents further brighten the space. Outside, the Mona Lisa mural, originally painted by Stefano Castronovo in 1984, will stay; it belongs to the Denver Public Art Collection.
Just Be Kitchen will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, with breakfast served all day along with a separate lunch menu. A liquor license will be added soon after opening, with an emphasis on grain-free spirits and beer.