By this time next month, the Lowry Beer Garden -- the first bona fide beer garden in Denver -- will be pouring suds, most of them local, from the confines of a new kitchen and bar that's part of a larger 8,000 square-foot project in the new Hangar 2 project in Lowry.
And when I stopped by a few days ago to check out the beer garden's progress, I found a construction crew and landscapers hard at work on the ambitious endeavor from the Larimer Associates, the same group that's also responsible for the proliferation of restaurants on Larimer Square, in addition to Madison Street, LoHi Steakbar and Billy's Inn.
The behemoth space will feature, among other attributes, ping pong tables and a long community table in the covered pavilion, and what Rod Wagner, a partner with the Larimer Associates, calls an "intense and impressive landscaping project" that will surround the perimeter of the beer garden. "It's like a pocket park in New York with an exquisite garden of colorful flowers, trees and shrubs," says Wagner, noting, too, that the beer garden will also grow hops and feature bistro lighting. "It's very Colorado-oriented, very Colorado-specific in terms of what we're plating, and it will definitely have a real park-like feel," echoes general manager Christopher Mohaupt.
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When the beer garden opens -- the group is shooting for the third week in May -- you can expect sixteen tap handles, twelve of which will dispense Colorado brews, in addition to a "good, extensive bottle list that represents Colorado," says Mohaupt. And the menu, developed by Troy Guard, the exec chef of TAG, TAG|RAW BAR and Madison Street, is a solid board of sandwiches, including a Reuben; giant pretzels; bratwursts and dogs from Continental Sausage, all of which can be paired with toppings, including chili, chipotle-lime slaw, jalapeno cream cheese, roasted poblano peppers and beer garden mustard; turkey, bison and beef burgers; and salads, several of which draw on Guard's familiarity with Asian cuisine. "There's an obvious Troy spin in the salads, and while the menu was a little challenging for him because it's so different from what he's done at TAG and TAG RAW BAR, he's come up with some terrific flavors," Mohaupt promises.
The kitchen isn't yet up and running, so no food shots in this post (soon!), but we do have an early peek of the beer garden, pavilion and other details that will round out the space.
The kitchen and bar, where guests will place their orders before grabbing a table in the pavilion or beer garden. Overlooking the beer garden, the pavilion, where ping pong tables, a community table and picnic tables will sit beneath a high timbered ceiling, is open on all sides. The beer garden, the parameter of which will be flush with trees, shrubs and budding botanicals, is also landscaped with three flags representing Colorado, the United States and, soon, Lowry, a former United States Air Force base. In addition, the beer garden will be strewn with long, narrow wooden picnic tables that, says Mohaupt, will "inspire conversation." Food will be served in recycled brown boxes presented on metal trays lined with paper stamped the Lowry Beer Garden logo.