The neighborhood of the new Grubbery Restaurant gives off an old industrial Denver vibe—with good reason. The building at 4880 Havana housed the employee cafeteria for Scott’s Liquid Gold, a wood cleaner and preservative manufactured there since 1951 and still in business next door.
“It’s an industrial area, so we serve lots of businesses breakfasts and lunches,” said Roger Kerns, who manages The Grubbery with partners Melissa Miedecke, assistant general manager, and Sean O’Grady, chef. “We’re at the border of Northfield, so Stapleton families come for dinner and brunch on the weekends. The brand new houses being built in Northfield will be great for us. This part of Stapleton is beginning to boom.”
The Grubbery—a restaurant, bar and coffee shop—celebrated its one year anniversary last month. EXDO Properties owns the building, formerly Scott’s Liquid Gold’s office tower. The 3,500-square-foot restaurant, on the ground floor, was redeveloped from the former cafeteria.
Because it had been a kitchen and food-serving space, most of the plumbing was already there, as were the electric and gas, Kerns said. “We brought in new kitchen equipment. Then the task was to make it look like a restaurant and not a cafeteria. We made a direct front entrance into the restaurant because it had been accessed through the lobby. We built the bar, replaced the ceiling, moved walls around and installed the TVs and sound system. The construction took about three and a half months. Then we built an outdoor patio with a fire pit, which took another month.”
Kerns moved from California to Denver 10 years ago to work for EXDO. He managed several EXDO properties, including Tracks Nightclub and the EXDO Event Center. He was hired to manage The Grubbery when construction started. “It’s been interesting, managing everything from the design to the menu, to get it off the ground. We’ve gotten to know the area, our neighbors and guests.”
Kerns described the menu as “approachable, classic items like burgers and sandwiches. Our food is classic with a modern twist and a fun take. For example, our French toast is made with a crème brûlée batter. The texture is familiar but it has an amazing flavor.”
He said food is bought locally when possible and almost everything is made from scratch. “It allows us to be more flexible with the menu. If a group wants something special, we can make it, and we can accommodate dietary restrictions like gluten intolerance. Whatever the limitations, we give really good food without sacrificing flavor or quality.”
Kerns said people are surprised when they find The Grubbery. “We’re in kind of a weird industrial area, so people driving by don’t know the restaurant is so nice. They are surprised that we’re not a chain, that we serve breakfast every day, and that we offer the full Starbuck’s line of beverages.”
The Grubbery is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., with brunch from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Happy hour is Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. A party area accommodates groups of up to 60.
For more information call 303-407-9040 or see www.grubberydenver.com.