A year ago (nearly to the day), the Kitchen Restaurant Group shared its plan to open a new eatery at 100 Steele Street in Cherry Creek North. What the group, founded by Kimbal Musk, Hugo Matheson and Jen Lewin in 2004, didn't mention at the time was that the space would not be another outpost of the Kitchen or its more casual sibling, Next Door. Instead, when the restaurant opens early this summer, it will have a new name: Hedge Row.
Don Degnan, president of the restaurant group, explains that Hedge Row is not a one-off, but rather the first of a new style of establishments; it will soon be followed by a second location in Indianapolis (with other locations likely to spring up in the coming years). "We're focused on the heartland," Degnan notes, pointing out that the company's preference is for locations where an impact can be made through the local supply chain, learning gardens that the Kitchen helps build at schools near its restaurants, and farmers and ranchers in the surrounding areas.
Hedge Row, like the other restaurants in the group, will offer a vegetable-forward menu that relies heavily on Colorado farmers and ranchers. "What's most important to us is maintaining relationships with our primary purveyors," Degnan says.
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In fact, Hedge Row's menu will be sourced entirely from American farms (except for a few spices and wines); the name itself comes from the original Hedgerow Farm in Boulder County, where many of the ingredients used at the first Kitchen were grown in the early 2000s. Hedgerow Farm no longer exists, but former owner Anne Cure now runs Cure Organic Farm nearby.
Hedge Row will serve an all-day menu for lunch and dinner centered on a wood-fired oven (similar to the one at the Kitchen Upstairs in Boulder) that will turn out roasted vegetables and meats. "It's going to have a little more rustic feel to it in both the food and atmosphere," Degnan adds.
The menu will include a few favorites from the Kitchen (the popular tomato soup, Bolognese sauce and sticky toffee pudding, for example), but will also have many new items, including a signature mole-braised short rib and a fresh-baked-cookie jar for the table. Overall, the concept isn't a departure from the Kitchen's recognizable brand, but a slightly more casual take on its already successful formula.