It is difficult enough for a new neighborhood bar and restaurant to get off the ground, but when, in June, the brick façade of the Greedy Hamster collapsed for unknown reasons, the eatery faced an uphill battle. With signage and lighting ripped off of the front and replaced with a long green canopy, the literal and figurative hole-in-the-wall became even harder to find. However, there are elemets of the Greedy Hamster that make the search worthwhile.

Owners Tay Wilbanks and Jim Askins remodeled the old Belvedere Restaurant location themselves with a kind of well worn patina that feels homey and intimate. Signature cocktails like the Spinning Wheel (citrus vodka, raspberry liqueur, and a splash of soda) and a hangover-worthy Green Chile bloody Mary made with St. George Green Chile Vodka and a house-made mix are featured at the tiny bar.

The bistro menu includes one of the best baskets of house-made chips around: palm-size, incredibly thin chips are perfectly salted and served with both ranch and an earthy chipotle ketchup. Herby Parmesan crisps and the deviled eggs garnished with crunchy bacon are other good choices. A range of burgers and bistro-style sandwiches make up most of the regular menu, but it’s the lamb burger (pictured) that earns nods for toppings that include feta, tzatziki sauce, a squeeze of lemon, and homemade pickles.

Tip: Although the Greedy Hamster is the name of a children’s book by Vladimir Kulichenko, it was a visit to Paris and the discovery of a plaque that read “The Greedy Hamster” that inspired the restaurant’s quirky name.

323 14th St., 303-623-2818