Brad Birky SAME Cafe 2023 East Colfax Avenue 720-530-6853
This is part one of Lori Midson's interview with Brad Birky, executive chef/owner of the SAME Cafe. You can read part two of this interview right back here tomorrow.
It's 3 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon, an hour after closing time, and Brad Birky, clad in a T-shirt and shorts, is in his open kitchen, rolling out pizza dough for tomorrow's lunch rush. His wife, Libby, is presiding over the cleanup efforts, working with a handful of volunteers, all of whom have offered to donate their time to pay for their meal. It's just another typical day at the SAME Cafe, the donation-based, pay-what-you'd-like restaurant that Brad and Libby opened four years ago on a wing and a prayer. "It cost us just under $30,000 to open the cafe, and every cent of it was ours," says Brad, who jokes that he and Libby paid off their car loan in full "so if it all fell through, we'd have a place to live."