hirise_wide1I’ve long dreamed of opening a bakery. My reasons are mostly selfish. I love to bake, but even more I like the idea of creating a spot where people stop by during lunch and pick up a crusty baguette to go with the night’s dinner.

Enter Hi-Rise. Yes, the month-old Ballpark bakery has stolen my idea, but I forgive it. Not only are the bakery’s baguettes, nine-grain breads, and brioche rolls only a 15-minute walk from my LoDo office, but if I time my trip right, I can also make it a breakfast or lunch date. The modern space, lined with tall windows, serves up sandwiches (roast beef, mesquite turkey) and salads (iceberg wedge, arugula and apples), in addition to its breads and pastry items (cupcakes with salted caramel frosting).

These offerings, like my imagined bakery, have grown from a longtime dream. For the last six years, Hi-Rise owner Doug Anderson, a 12-year veteran of local sandwich shops and chains, has wanted to open a lunch joint. Last November, he met Jacqueline Blanchard, a Frasca chef de partie at the time, and the two teamed up to bring a different kind of eatery to a neighborhood that had breakfast (Snooze) and dinner (Twelve, Buenos Aires Pizzeria) but no bakery.

Hi-Rise, which was bustling when I dropped in for lunch last week, has managed to strike a mostly harmonious balance between Anderson and Blanchard’s divergent backgrounds. My co-worker and I ordered a muffeletta–a tower of prosciutto, salami, and olive tapenade on a boule–and the Latin-Asian sesame pork salad–meaty pulled pork, crispy romaine, and avocado–that were both fresh and well-crafted.

But the vibe (plastic serving dishes and fountain sodas) reminded us that this is a quick-eats joints. So we ate quickly, ditching the chalky, homemade Oreos, and then grabbed some bread–Hi-Rise’s strongest offering–for dinner.

2162 Larimer St., 303-296-3656

Daily 6 a.m.-5 p.m.