"Conversation starts at the tabletop, friends meet at the tabletop, and it all starts when you pull a chair up to the tabletop," says Sita Keda, who, along with her husband, Dipesh Amin, will soon open the aptly named Table Top Tasting Room at 2230 Oneida Street, in a former Park Hill dance studio. And they'll be joined by two other partners: chef Elizabeth Gibb, most recently the sous chef at the Beehive in Boulder, and Josef Sykora, a craft furniture maker and contractor.
"Josef and I are old college friends who also happen to be home brewers, and we've been kicking around the idea of opening a craft-beer tasting room for quite a while," says Amin, a physician, as is his wife. "We're doctors, but beer is our passion, and while we're not going to be a brewery, this will be a tasting room that's craft-beer-centric," focusing, he notes, on draft beers, many from Colorado, and another twenty-to-thirty bottles from around the world, including Belgians. "At the moment, we're relying on great beers that are already out there, but we're not ruling out brewing our own beer in the future," adds Amin.
The menu, says Gibb, whose background also includes several catering gigs and a lengthy stint at City Club, a private club in Boulder, is designed to pair with those brews. "The food -- mostly small plates -- will complement the beers, and I like the idea of mixing and matching dishes and letting people share," says Gibb, adding that the board, which includes charcuterie and cheese plates, bruschetta and salads, sandwiches and spreads, will change seasonally (as will the beers) and favor local, organic and pasture-raised ingredients.
The 2,400-square-foot space, slated to open in early November, is undergoing a complete renovation, says Amin, who signed the lease in July. A bar that seats ten and boasts taps bordered by stone will be the focal point; Gibb will cook from a partially exposed kitchen; sofas and coffee tables squatting next to a fireplace will populate a lounge area; and bookcases shelved with magazines and reading material about everything from travel to beer are part of the plan, too, as are a patio and a beer garden, the latter of which, reveals Amin, is scheduled for spring of 2014.
And just about everything that will occupy the space will be custom-built by Sykora, a furniture maker. "The only thing he's not doing is the chairs, but he's an amazing builder and craftsman, and when it's done, it's going to look beautiful in here," says Amin, who also plans to host beer-and-food dinners and "meet the brewer" events.
"We're all really excited about this project, and we love the neighborhood," says Amin. "We want to focus on the pairing of great beers and great food in a comfortable neighborhood environment," he concludes.
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When the Table Top Tasting Room opens, hours will be from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 2 to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.