Gentrification often looks like outsiders identifying a neighborhood as a hot economic prospect, moving in to install new businesses or residences, and pushing out long-time community members; many have written about that process and its effect on the historically Black neighborhood of Five Points in Denver. But for the newly formed food and beverage division of longtime Five Points investment firm the Flyfisher Group (TFG), that’s certainly not the case. The partnership among veteran chef Daniel Young (Chef D), Coffee at the Point owner Ryan Cobbins, EVG Hospitality founder Greg Topel, and TFG founder Matthew Burkett represents decades of Black people living, working, and playing in the Five Points neighborhood. These are the very people who want to see Five Points thrive, not just for their own bottom line, but because it’s where they live.
“What Matthew Burkett has done in assembling a team that’s really focused on food and beverage in Five Points is ensure that the story of the neighborhood is known in terms of its rich African American culture, which continues to be told through the establishments that open up here,” says Cobbins, the group’s president of operations.
Two of the group’s forthcoming endeavors will be Mimosas, a community-focused breakfast joint, and MBP, a revitalized and rebranded Dunbar Kitchen and Tap House serving upscale contemporary American fare. (The group is keeping the meaning behind the name MBP under wraps for now.) Although menus are still in development, both restaurants will be helmed by Chef D, who knows the community and what it wants to eat better than anyone.
“His ability to create incredible concepts when it comes to food is amazing,” Cobbins says of Chef D. “I think what makes him unique isn’t just one concept of food, but how he recognizes how to grow this neighborhood with a few different complementary concepts.”
Both Mimosas and MBP will have substantial, shaded patios for safe, distanced dining. The group’s existing concepts—Spangalang Brewery and Cobbins’ Coffee at the Point—are looking to do most of their service outdoors as well, so there’s plenty of room for al fresco sips.
The goal of the group’s food and beverage offerings is to revamp Five Points into an all-day destination that supports the neighborhood’s small businesses. Besides the residents, the group wants to make Five Points an even more appealing place to spend the day for tourists and Denverites who may not have frequented the area before. “We want to make sure you spend time there,” Cobbins says. “Maybe enjoying coffee at the Point and then moving to breakfast at Mimosas. Hitting happy hour at Spangalang and heading to MBP for dinner. In between those meals, you’re able to check out the historical markers that go up and down Welton Street in that historical culture area.”
More than anything, these projects are about the Five Points community: preserving existing businesses, giving locals special places to visit, and creating exciting new ventures that encourage others to explore the neighborhood. “There’s a lot of conversation about community, and it almost seems like a buzzword these days,” Cobbins says. “It’s a buzzword some institutions are using to gain more customer base. The harder, more challenging piece is to determine what community means. The ability to not just build community but create spaces where people can meet and see each other on a more personal level—that’s the ability food and beverage has. We’re able to do that on a larger scale through this group.”
Stay tuned for a late July opening for both MBP in the former Dunbar space and Mimosas at 2752 Welton Street.