We haven't even reached the end of 2020 and things are already looking up for 2021 — at least in the Barnum neighborhood. Bounded by Federal Boulevard, West Alameda Avenue, Perry Street and Sixth Avenue, this mostly residential area isn't known as a restaurant destination, though you'll find a few gems like Grandpa's Burger Haven and El Coco Pirata here. And if things go according to plan for Jordain Parker, Barnum could be home to Denver's first new restaurant of the new year.
Parker has been working on opening Knox Pizza & Tap at 100 Knox Court since August, when she took over the former home of Los Molcajetes Mexican Restaurant. For the past ten years, the new restaurant owner has been working for Chuey Fu's Latin-Asian Grub, and now she's branching out with her own project. Parker started out helping Chuey Fu's owner, Joe Knoblich, operate his food truck, and she stuck with the company to help run the restaurants as they opened on Santa Fe Drive and South Broadway.
That experience aided Parker as she planned her own pizzeria. "We're just waiting for our licenses now, but I'm hoping it will be the first week of January," she says.
Knox Pizza & Tap will specialize in New York-style pizza, with mostly traditional toppings, along with monthly specials that could stray into slightly more adventurous territory. Options will include twenty-inch whole pies or pizza by the slice, plus chicken wings in a variety of sauces, hand-battered mozzarella sticks and onion rings, housemade monkey bread, salad and a selection of local craft beers.
Parker says the neighborhood has been excited about a new pizzeria — the first for Barnum — since she put up the sign for Knox Pizza & Tap more than a month ago. "I've had really good responses on nextdoor.com," she adds.
The pizza joint, located on the corner of an enclave of small businesses and just across the street from a Mi Pueblo Market, will initially open for takeout orders only, although there's a small patio where guests can sit when the weather is mild. Once regulations allow, Parker will open the small dining room, which contains just a few tables.
If 2021 holds the promise of pizza and beer in a neighborhood that's one of Denver's best-kept secrets, it's already a win over 2020. The website is currently under construction, but look for Knox Pizza & Tap to be open from 4 to 8 p.m. daily to start, with more hours to be added as conditions allow. The pizzeria's website is currently under construction but will soon be updated with a phone number and menu.
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