First Look

Next Door Solidifies Concept With New Stapleton Outpost

Next Door's newest outpost at Eastbridge Stapleton.
Next Door's newest outpost at Eastbridge Stapleton. Mark Antonation

Next Door, founded in Boulder by The Kitchen owners Kimbal Musk and Hugo Matheson as a kind of "Kitchen lite," just opened in the new Eastbridge Stapleton development. This is the fourth Colorado location for the group, which is also launching the brand in Memphis, Tennessee, this spring and will add a Longmont branch later this year.

With the opening comes a focus on the Next Door brand as a whole. When there was only one restaurant and it was right next to the Kitchen, calling the space The Kitchen|Next Door made sense, but with expansion came a certain amount of confusion, as did the "community pub" designation. To combat this, explains director of operations Colin Ness, the company has updated the name to Next Door American Eatery and has launched a new website that's separate from the Kitchen's brand. This will help with the company's goal of reaching fifty Next Door locations throughout what Ness calls "America's heartland" by the end of 2020.

click to enlarge The Next Door roasted veggie bowl, with quinoa and sunflower seeds. - MARK ANTONATION
The Next Door roasted veggie bowl, with quinoa and sunflower seeds.
Mark Antonation
A new menu from culinary director Merlin Verrier (the subject of this week's Chef & Tell) has also been launched with more than twenty new items, including a selection of bowls intended to showcase the high-quality ingredients for which Next Door has become known. Fans of the kale chips, hummus and potato smashers from the restaurant's original menu will be pleased to see those items still holding their ground among the many new offerings like a calamari frito misto, with crunchy zucchini and pepperoncini rounds, crispy salt 'n' pepper chicken bites and a "loaded" version of the smashers piled with bacon, cheddar, sour cream and jalapeƱo that evolved from an underground menu of employee favorites.

On the sandwich side of the menu, a new 50/50 burger sports a patty made from 50 percent beef and 50 percent cremini mushrooms, giving a full flavor while cutting back on the beef. At the bar, zero-proof cocktails offer an alternative to the boozy side of the menu.

click to enlarge The new 505/50 blends mushrooms into the beef patty. - MARK ANTONATION
The new 505/50 blends mushrooms into the beef patty.
Mark Antonation
Next Door's daily specials cover a range of dishes intended to reflect regional themes and ingredients; for example, Thursday's pork green chile special will run in Colorado but not Tennessee. There's also a Meatless Monday mushroom ragout, a Taco Tuesday Baja fish taco plate, Friday fish and chips, and a grilled half-chicken on Sunday reminiscent of a weekend family dinner. Lamb Philly sandwiches on Tuesday and Cowboy burgers on Saturday round out the roster.

The newest member of the Next Door family opens daily at 11 a.m. for lunch and dinner, with happy hours from 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close. Keep reading for  more photos.
click to enlarge The craveable potato smashers. - MARK ANTONATION
The craveable potato smashers.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge Fried calamari with zucchini and pepperoncini. - MARK ANTONATION
Fried calamari with zucchini and pepperoncini.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge Next Door's beet burger. - MARK ANTONATION
Next Door's beet burger.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge The new sweet and spicy Gulf shrimp bowl. - MARK ANTONATION
The new sweet and spicy Gulf shrimp bowl.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge The bar at the new Next Door. - MARK ANTONATION
The bar at the new Next Door.
Mark Antonation

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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation