Reader: The Kitchen Denver is like an airplane hangar with the jet engines at full roar

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Planning the menu for a new restaurant is only one of the challenges. you have to design the proper setting for that food, a setting that will draw people in -- and keep them there, as Chris Utterback reported in his piece on Semple Brown Design's work with restaurants. "Part of the project is always getting to know your different clients, getting inside their heads," says Sarah Semple Brown, who founded the design and architecture firm Semple Brown Design in the early '80s and has been designing restaurant spaces ever since. "It's like reality TV at its best."

But the reality TV at the new Kitchen Denver, which was designed by Semple Brown, may need to turn down the volume.

Says DenverDave:

Well, some of the restaurants in Lodo (and Uptown and Lohi for that matter) may be nice to look at but most are complete failures in terms of hospitality in my opinion. One of the prime objectives in restaurant design should be to create an atmosphere that encourages one of the key elements to a wonderful dining experience - the pleasure of conversation with your dining companions. The Kitchen Denver is an excellent example of a space that makes conversation virtually impossible because of the lack of any sound absorbing surfaces. It's like having dinner in an airplane hangar with jet engines at full roar. Cram 170 people plus staff into a space whose key elements are glass, hard wood floors, brick walls, an open kitchen, and high ceilings (the most common trend in restaurant design lately) and you get a place you want to go to with people with whom you are not on speaking terms.

What restaurants do you consider well-designed? Which are the worst? Post your thoughts below, and read Chris Utterback's story on Semple Brown Design here.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.