Earlier this summer, a sign went up in the window at 84 Rampart Road in Lowry's Hangar 2 development stating that construction would soon begin for Masterpiece Kitchen. Hangar 2 development group Larimer Associates confirmed that this would be a new project from chef/restaurateur Justin Brunson and his business partners, but little other information was available at the time. But Masterpiece partner Eric Clayman is filling in a few of the details ahead of the build-out, which he expects to be completed in time for a winter opening.
Masterpiece Deli was originally founded by Brunson and Stephen Allee in 2008. Clayman joined the team three years ago as "business development guy," as he says, to help with the launch of the Denver Bacon Company and the expansion of the Masterpiece Deli concept to a second location in Uptown. Rather than a third deli, Masterpiece Kitchen will be a full-service version of the original, something Clayman says Brunson and Allee wanted from the very beginning but instead went with the tight, counter-service sandwich shop in LoHi due to budget constraints.
“Right from the start, we dreamed of having a bar side-by-side with Masterpiece Deli. We intentionally started out small and now, with two locations open, feel like the time is right,” adds Brunson.
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The new eatery will use the deli's menu as a springboard — exact details aren't available yet — and will also include table service and a full bar. But the vibe will be more casual than at Brunson's other sit-down restaurant, Old Major. Clayman says to expect "super-accessible," owing to Lowry's young, low-key, family vibe. "It will have a really big patio in a very visible location in Lowry," he explains.
Brunson is overseeing the menu development and overall theme, but the eatery will be overseen by Masterpiece director of operations Casey Taylor, with a yet-to-be-named chef from the restaurant group.
Masterpiece Kitchen is sandwiched between North County and Bubu on the west side of Hangar 2, with Cafe Mercato and the Lowry Beer Garden also nearby. “We’ve been holding out for just the right chef and concept to fill our last remaining space in the Hangar 2 development,” said Pat McHenry of Larimer Associates and City Street Investors in announcing the deal — and with Masterpiece, they found it.