Squeaky Bean draws an early string of Highlanders

Last week, I tried to crash join the exclusive Highland Mommies web site, mostly because I wanted to read all the preliminary gossip surrounding the Squeaky Bean, the new restaurant from Johnny Ballen that opened Memorial Day morning at 3301 Tejon Street. I'm sorry to report, however, that I just received an e-mail from someone calling herself the "Highlands Mommies Moderator" rejecting my Highland Mommies membership application because I don't live within the group's playpen boundaries.

Fair enough. But rebuffing my application doesn't mean that I can't play in the same bean box as all those hipster Highland moms who no doubt turned out for Squeaky Bean's opening, which was a resounding success according to exec chef Max Mackissock. "We literally had a line out the door for nearly the entire day," he told me. "Everything went super, super smooth and the neighborhood seemed to really love everything," including, said Mackissock, the duck rillettes.

"Seriously, we sold 21 orders of those, which tells me that we have a really cool neighborhood clientele," Mackissock enthused. "It was awesome."

Mackissock is really psyched, too, about the new 1,400-square-foot garden he's growing right behind Polidori Meat Processors, Denver's oldest sausage maker (and Squeaky Bean's neighbor) at 3327 Tejon Street. "I'm meeting with a master gardener this weekend to plan everything we're going to grow, and I'm going to cook with whatever I can pull out of the garden and get from the farmers' market," he assured me.

Beans, of course, will be part of the plan.  And so will brunch, which starts Saturday. Dinner won't kick in until the end of June, but Ballen and Mackissock have every intention of introducing happy hour much sooner -- even as soon as next week -- which is great news for everyone in the Highland 'hood -- mommy moderators, included.

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