Slowly, methodically and completely under the radar, Dave Chmura, Scott Bergin and Rob Young have spent a full year -- and then some -- restoring an antiquated house on South Pearl Street, and early next year, the trio of restaurateurs will open the doors to Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two, named for the address where it resides.
"I've worked in construction for a long time, but I've always worked nights in restaurants, and I've always wanted to have my own restaurant" says Chmura, who's done long-term front-of-the-house stints at Sushi Den and Japon. Young, too, has worked in several restaurants in and around Denver, and Bergin is the owner of Samurai, a Japanese/sushi restaurant that's been in a fixture in Greenwood Village for decades. "The three of us are designing the restaurant and developing the menu, and while we're talking to several chefs, we haven't chosen one yet, but there are a lot of really good ones that we're talking to," says Chmura, adding that the menu -- a global, eclectic syllabus that's still a work in progress -- will emphasize Colorado-grown ingredients, along with favorite recipes from all three partners.
"We want to have fun with the menu, so we're not assigning a specific cuisine type, but our goal is to be affordable and give people a lot of bang for their buck" explains Chmura. "I grew up in Denver," he adds, "and this is a privileged location in a great neighborhood, and while the name of the restaurant reflects the address, it also allows us to be more diverse insomuch that it lets us go in whatever direction we want without nailing us down to any one thing."
And that leeway, points out Chmura, means that the "menu will include everything from our favorite recipes -- something that our grandmother made that's incredible -- to working with cool ingredients that you don't see very often to taking familiar dishes and tweaking the flavor combinations to make them unique." To wit: Sweet potato waffles with quail eggs and Thai shrimp bisque. Chmura, admits, too, that's he enamored with lemon cucumbers.
The house, which was built in 1887, will accommodate just under 100 butts, and several of those seats will be on the bricked patio, which, when construction is complete, will wrap around the circumference of the home, the interior of which is an open floor plan with exposed brick and a fireplace. And, in time, Chmura tells me, the threesome will build a second-story deck.
"We've already done a lot, and our goal is to be open by the first of the year, but there's still a lot of work left to be done, and our focus is getting everything built and then assembling a great team," says Chmura.
When Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two opens, it will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. "We're definitely planning to be open seven days a week for all meals, at least in the beginning, and if we find that we have too much paperwork, or need a break, then we may close one morning a week, but the plan is to be open as often as we can."
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.