Locating chef Kelly Whitaker’s newest endeavor, Dry Storage, is an adventure. It should only be so for a short time, as the owner of the Wolf’s Tailor in Sunnyside and Basta in Boulder (not to mention co-founder of the Noble Grain Alliance non-profit) is having signs made and installed around the Peloton West luxury condominium complex (the same one that houses Basta) so customers can find the new cafe’s location on the southeast side near Arapahoe Avenue.
But in the meantime, know that the rewards awaiting you at Dry Storage are well worth your effort to find it. Originally imagined as a partnership between Whitaker and Boulder’s Fortuna Chocolate, the space, which once served as Basta’s prep kitchen, is not only a must-visit destination for bread lovers, but for anyone looking for an upgraded cafe experience.
Most of the menu was created by Whitaker and his team, including Jeb Breakell, head pastry chef at Whitaker’s Id Est Hospitality Group and a 2019 James Beard Foundation Award nominee (as was Whitaker) for his sweet work at the Wolf’s Tailor. (Fortuna Chocolate ultimately landed on a larger production facility elsewhere, but it still has a permanent retail presence at Dry Storage.) On any given day, you can expect to find an array of fantastic house-made breads, ranging from orange-rosemary focaccia to fluffy sourdough to a geometric, tight-crumbed Pullman loaf. There’s also a concise menu of sandwiches, pastries, espresso and tea drinks, and a full liquor license. “There’s a lot of intention behind each small piece,” Whitaker says. “The overall mission is to make bread and grains more mainstream.”
As with Basta’s pizza dough and the Wolf’s Tailor’s noodles, the heirloom grains for all of the baked goods at Dry Storage are milled in-house. Even that white Pullman loaf is a deceptive vehicle for the complex flavors of white Sonora and Yecora Rojo wheats. And it is also the foundation of Dry Storage’s simple but delicious sandwiches, stuffed with the likes of mortadella and cornichons, cold meatloaf, or egg salad.
Dry Storage is also a direct-to-consumer grain mill. Customers can buy bulk quantities of any grain milled fresh to order. It’s all a part of Whitaker’s larger mission of establishing a full-blown grain mill—one that might eventually serve wholesale customers, such as restaurants, breweries, and distilleries, and retail outlets as well. Whitaker even recently bought 10,000 pounds of seed of five different heirloom grain varieties to be grown this year on a farm in the San Luis Valley. Look for those grains to begin gracing area menus this fall.
Bonus: This weekend, Dry Storage is debuting its brand-new weekend barbecue pop-up. Every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-close, you can load up a plate with ribs, brisket, chicken, pork shoulder, or sausage, all smoked on Dry Storage’s patio, plus a handful of side dishes. What does barbecue have to do with grains? “I grew up in Oklahoma dipping white bread in barbecue sauce,” Whitaker says, “and I almost loved the white bread more than the meat. We want to do barbecue as a grain thing.”
Dry Storage is open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. seven days a week. 3601 Arapahoe Ave., D-18