The Chavez: Roasted Poblano pepper filled with Asadero cheese and potatoes, with iceberg lettuce, avocado, sweet chipotle sauce and Oaxaca cheese on a goody Getright sesame cemita roll at Open on March 22nd (AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post Office)
Here’s the deal: Open only serves six types of sandwiches, and each is made by a different Denver chef. They are sold daily at a counter in the back of a Denver bar and online for delivery or pickup. And $ 1 from every sale will be donated to a local food charity of the chefs’ choice.
For the long-time restaurant manager and manager Jake Riederer, the transition to opening his own restaurant went quickly, starting at the end of November with a business plan and culminating in March with the counter service.
When you go
Open is located at American Bonded at 2706 Larimer St. Order at the bar or online at opendenco.com. Open Mon-Fri 4 p.m. – midnight, Sat.-Sun. Noon midnight. 720-531-3969
For a month now, Riederer and his business partner, head chef Jhon Chavez, have been serving sandwiches until midnight every day in the back of the American Bonded Bar on Larimer Street. To order, you can have a seat anywhere in the bar or go online before pulling up the alley and picking up your sandwiches from the back door.
Riederer wanted Open to be quick and easy, but also “premium quality and chef design”.
Co-founder of Open Jake Riederer (right) and head chef Jhon Chavez on Monday, March 22nd, 2021. The sandwich shop opened on March 1st as a pick-up service via the alley entrance on 27th and Larimer Street or from the bar at American Bonded. (AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post)
“I think we’re filling a niche that wasn’t filled before,” he said. “My hope was to create a space outside the cook’s ego, even if our menu is shaped by it. But if I am to ask these chefs for their recipes, I have to pay them off. “
For the opening menu, Riederer tapped his cooking friends, who are also among the top culinary talents in Denver. The line-up includes Dana Rodriguez from Super Mega Bien and Work & Class; Jeff Osaka of Osaka Ramen and Sushi Rama; Tommy Lee from Uncle and Hop Alley; Sushi chef Toru Watanabe; Cliff Blauvelt from Tap & Burger Concepts; and Chavez from Open.
Riederer said he liked the idea of displaying these chefs’ creations in “meals” (read: sandwiches) that cost $ 15. Also: “How much cooler if we donate something right away?”
He let the cooks choose their charity. Everyone agreed on Project Angel Heart, whose former head chef Brandon Foster suddenly died last year. Three days before the first month of Open, Riederer and Chavez had raised $ 1,645 to donate. And although Chavez made five other chefs’ sandwiches, his own creation of a chilli relleno between two sesame buns had become a bestseller.
If business continues to do well, there could be another open location in Denver’s future, or at least another harvest of sandwiches (more chefs have turned to Riederer with their own ideas).
And for everyone who thinks that $ 15 for a sandwich is simply too much: “I totally understand,” said Riederer. But he and Chavez start their employees at $ 17 an hour and plan to offer benefits like health insurance after the first year.
“There’s a friendly way of doing it, (what is) the right way of doing it,” said Riederer of making sandwiches and opening a restaurant.
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