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If news of yet another Denver food hall has you yawning, maybe the upcoming cast of food vendors at the city’s newest will grab your attention. Junction Food & Drink, at I-25 and Colorado Boulevard, will have 10 stalls hawking shawarma, sushi, empanadas, Nashville-style hot chicken sandwiches, and more trendy and traditional fare from a mix of notable local chefs and new-to-Denver imports.
One of the locals is William Espiricueta, chef/owner of modern barbecue spot Smōk, inside the Source Hotel. He’ll open a second, more streamlined version of Smōk inside Junction, stacking brisket and pork sandwiches alongside a couple salads and sides. “I have been thinking about expanding south, and Junction presents a great opportunity for us to branch out and be a part of what we think is going to be a great addition to the food hall scene here in Denver,” Espiricueta says. “The menu will be small, manageable, and we hope will be offering a taste of what we do to that market.”
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Troy Guard will be involved with both food and drink—he’ll open Big Wave Taco Shop inside the food hall, and his TAG Restaurant Group will run the bar program. No word yet on what specific drinks will be slung behind the 40-foot long bar, but we’re promised very fresh, “porchy” drinks, craft beers, and an approachable wine list.
Chef Soon Choi, formerly the head chef at Sushi Den, will bring his expertise to Ebisu Ramen and Sushi, and François Saber will continue the expansion of his mini Argentina-comes-to-Colorado empire with Lazo Empanadas. Belmar’s Paciugo Gelato & Caffe, Golden’s Mr. Miner’s Meat & Cheese, and Iliff’s Sonder Coffee & Tea will all open their second locations inside Junction.
The requisite pizza, burgers, and Nashville fried chicken sandwiches come from outside state lines. Washington, D.C.-based Pete’s-A-Pie will serve New Haven-style pizza, while Grind and Grill Burger, Bird on a Wire Southern Chick’n, and Shawarma Shack come over from Indiana’s Crave Food Hall, which, like Junction, is operated by Texas-based National Food Hall Solutions.
All of the shawarma, barbecue, and hot chicken can be had when Junction Food & Drink opens in the Colorado Center development in early April.