If you were a fan of the salted chocolate chunk cookies, fruit pies, and other marvelous baked goods that Alicia Luther turned out at the now-closed Black Eye Cap Hill, here’s some sweet news: Luther has partnered with long-time Denver restaurateur Jeff Osaka and Black Eye LoHi’s general manager Madison Martinez on a Berkeley bakery and cafe. It will be called Spruce & Lark, after Colorado’s state tree and bird, and its new home will be on Yates Street off 44th Avenue, next door to the forthcoming second location of Amethyst Coffee. The bakery should open sometime this fall.
“I’ve been on the opening team of several restaurants, but never for my own place,” Luther says. “Having Jeff [Osaka’s] insight, knowledge, and guidance in the process is invaluable.”
Luther and Osaka have also partnered with local architecture firm Unum Collaborative, who has designed the bakery-cafe’s warm-yet-modern space. The eatery will share a sliding interior door with Amethyst so customers can move freely between the two spaces, ordering from either menu and sitting wherever they choose. “I want to create a business that customers feel is their own, their go-to spot,” Luther says. Spruce & Lark will fill that need for Berkeley residents by offering freshly baked loaves of bread, pastries, pies, and cakes to take home, as well as a daytime menu that spans breakfast and lunch. “It’ll be a simple, clean menu,” Luther says, “with everything from the gluten-free buckwheat waffles that I make for my husband and I on weekends to hearty salads, soups, and sandwiches built on our breads.” Leaving espresso drinks to the Amethyst team, Spruce & Lark will focus on drip coffee and tea.
Luther is looking for other local partners for every ingredient possible, from coffee roasters to honey producers to sources for local grains for her baked goods and breads. PB Love Co.’s cinnamon almond butter, for just one example, is sure to make an appearance on a Spruce & Lark breakfast toast. “I have three jars in my home pantry right now,” Luther says.
Luther’s goal is to be open in time for the fall holidays. “That’s when all the baking happens and Denverites need something for parties, or just to indulge themselves. I want to be able to help them with that!” We do, too.