If you woke up this morning wondering why Denver doesn’t have a groovy little restaurant dedicated to turnovers, well, wonder no more. Turnover, Darling, a ’60s-themed hand-pie restaurant, opened at 22nd and Larimer streets in late July. There, you can get your fill of classic Americana fillings like mac and cheese, chicken pot pie, patty melt, and tuna noodle, all wrapped up in buttery, flaky crusts. Even groovier: the turnovers are named after ’60s celebrities, like the chicken-filled Tippi Hedren (named after the star of The Birds), and the spicy Charo, stuffed with jalapeños, red pepper, asiago, corn, and black beans.
Turnover, Darling is from restaurant vet Cliff Trubowitz, who owned the now-shuttered, but equally nostalgic, Bump & Grind for more than a decade. “At Bump & Grind, it was very eclectic, very East Village-y, and I had turnovers on the menu—I called them empanadas back then—and they were really popular,” Trubowitz says. “[For this restaurant] I decided to narrow it down. I love the ’60s, so it’s ’60s-themed and American-style comfort food geared around turnovers and empanadas.”
So far, the retro flavors have been popular, but it’s the breakfast turnovers—especially the ones filled with egg, cheese, scallion, and sausage—that Trubowitz says have been flying off the shelves. Everything from the crust to the fillings to the asiago gravy and spicy adobo sauces are made in-house.
“We’re trying to offer something different than the typical empanada,” Trubowitz says. “The size is larger; more of an American entrée size. I wanted something substantial with a lot of filling.” Besides the savory turnovers, Trubowitz serves housemade soups, salads, eggs, and granola in addition to a full line of pastries, which include cakes, scones, lemon bars, and cookies. He says customers have been asking for sweet turnovers, but like the owners of so many restaurants, Trubowitz been short staffed, and menu additions are on hold for now.
To wash down all those far-out turnovers, Trubowitz serves a full espresso bar from Denver-based Pablo’s Coffee and wine from the Infinite Monkey Theorem. Right now, Turnover, Darling is open from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., but Trubowitz hopes to expand the hours once hiring constraints ease up—especially since he has a full liquor license.
“I hope to have a dessert bar and be open late-night with cocktails, coffee, and dessert,” he says. “Eventually we’ll put in a to-go window and a patio on 22nd Street. I’ll bring back the brunch from Bump & Grind…We’re just taking everything one step at a time.”
2162 Larimer St.