Openings and Closings

Sean Kelly Opens Desmond Bar & Grill in Park Hill

Chef/restaurateur Sean Kelly recently grabbed the building vacated by Table Top in Park Hill and, after a quick turnaround, opened Desmond Bar & Grill at 2230 Oneida Street on Wednesday. Kelly's last Denver appearance was at LoHi SteakBar, but he's also fondly remembered for his groundbreaking restaurants Aubergine Cafe (where Mizuna currently resides) and Claire de Lune (now home to Fruition) and for his time as opening chef at Barolo Grill. Desmond appears to be in the same mold of low-key, neighborhood eateries where surprises await on understated menus.

Front-of-house manager Ashley Newton explains that the menu at Desmond will consist of Mediterranean shared plates with a few elevated bar snacks. Moroccan influences share space with a cheeseburger and classic Buffalo wings. 

Since the restaurant space was so new (Table Top opened in July 2014 and closed a year later), Kelly and his team haven't had to make many changes to the interior, adding a few touches but keeping the twenty-tap bar. The bar program itself has changed, though, with a different wine list and small roster of house cocktails. Of the twenty taps, fifteen will be dedicated to beer, while the others will pour cider, root beer and three kegged wines. 

Desmond is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m., but Newton says they'll re-evaluate after the end of the year to see what customers are asking for. "The goal is to cater toward the needs of the neighborhood," she explains.

The menu is short and inexpensive, with the priciest item at $16, and that's an appetizer platter meant for two. Here's the complete menu posted at Desmond for Friday, November 6:
Almonds, $4
Olives, $4
Today's Soup, $6

Antipasto Plate for Two, $16

Seasonal Greens with Mustard Vinaigrette, $4/8
Moroccan Orange & Date Salad, $6
Hummus with Za'atar & Grilled Flatbread, $7
Mascarpone Polenta with Mushrooms, $9
'Nduga with Fried Peppers & Toast, $11
Frito Verdure with Lemon Herb Mayonaise, $10
Warm Squid & White Bean Salad, $10
Baba Ghanoush, Yogurt Sauce & Flatbread, $9
Handmade Guacamole with Corn Chips, $8
Buffalo Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese, $10
Fennel Stewed Mussels with Aioli, $14
Grilled Cheeseburger with Fried Potatoes, $12
Potted Salmon with Radishes and Toast, $9
"Broken" Falafel Salad with Tahini, $9
Spanish "Brave" Potatoes with Aioli, $7

Mascarpone-Stuffed Dates with Almonds, $6
Gateau Victoire Chocolate Cake, $8
Dessert of the Day, $6

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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