On Sunday, October 4 Frank’s Food and Bodega opened in a Mostly residential section of Edgewater. Replacing the area formerly inhabited by Happy Leaf Kombucha, Frank’s serves a range of pantry items, fresh produce, locally-produced wares, pasta, meats and cold and hot foods ready to eat at home or onsite. By all outward appearances, Frank’s might easily be confused for a neighborhood grocery or food combined — mixing a unmistakable Colorado nonchalance with inspiration from both Mexican and New York bodegas. But the marketplace is in fact an expansion of Blue Note Event Services, the exclusive caterer for essentially all Denver’s most renowned places several decades operating. The job — particularly the many house-made items which fill the deli counter — is ultimately bringing to the people the food which has fueled the local music industry. “It’s essentially what we do for bands but for the neighborhood — cozy, convenient access to feel-good food,” said business development director Katie Scotten.
Blue Note has been founded over two decades ago by Irene Tarasan industry vet whose catering heritage dates back into the ’80s, where she once, at the request of The Grateful Dead, created granola for the whole Red Rocks audience from a batch of oats the band sent over. Blue Note has grown to be the go-to company for both AEG and Live Nation, servicing teams, teams and production teams in all the significant places across the Denver area. Anyone dining backstage at Red Rocks, the 1STBANK Center, the Pepsi Center, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Mission Ballroom and Fiddler’s Green during the last decade has definitely feasted on among Taras’ banquets. The crack team has also been proven to build fully-functioning temporary kitchens outside Mile High Stadium and handled all the catering in Grandoozy plus a variety of annual one-offs. “What we do is music. That’s what we live and perish,” stated Scotten.
While Frank’s has been surely designed as a go to get a company which normally spends its summers frantically granting the requests of almost every significant touring artist which rolls down, Blue Note — using its adjoining offices — was planning on converting the former kombucha home into a theory that in last served members of the audience. “We had been thinking about doing something with the space when we bought the construction,” stated Scotten. “We always knew it’d be food-related,” she continued. At first, the team considered forming a restaurant, though 2020’s magnificent dictates forced the group to alter its program. “A shop would be a much better way to offer what we do and also a better way to serve the neighborhood,” stated Scotten. Most of the employees have been using the company, with Taras’ son Blake Elwell and his wife Jennifer handling onsite.
Frank’s is curated using a blend of thoughtfully-sourced local products and an equally top-tier selection of the essentials brought in from far and wide. River Bear Meats and Tenderbelly are on screen and not far off are jars of Tajin and biscuits from Tate’s Bake Shop. Nick, Nora and Emily’s Toffee Corn — made in Nederland — shares the shelf using pie crusts from Kinnikinnick and Bob’s Red Mill. The integration between the local items and more recognizable brands is underscored with a general commitment to quality — upscale but free of pretense. “Local men and women get shelf priority around ,” grinned Blake. Even so, the reason to see Frank’so is the house-made dishes.
While the menu changes regularly, there is a list of “Everything All the Time” choices which will always be accessible. The bacon-wrapped meatloaf ($3.95 a slice or $11.95 for supper ) is a fantastic move there. On Wednesdaythe team recreates menus requested by artists — with Phish, Ariana Grande, Big Gigantic and Adele having been on screen. The soups — including chicken noodle and cream of asparagus — are particularly liable to cause misty-eyed yields to anything remembered kitchen love lives in. “All of the recipes have rotated through our menu offerings a great deal of times over the years. That’s a huge portion of our assurance, this food isn’t new. Thousands of individuals have eaten these dishes,” stated Scotten.
It’s unthinkable — particularly considering the insular planet Blue Note has assembled behind the scenes — which Frank’s cuisine has all of the reassuring familiarity with a friend who just recently reemerged in the woodwork. The images which line the walls — Mac Miller, Rebelution, a signed photo of The Police — give a warm reminder of a temporarily bygone age. And fortunately, even when concerts do reunite, the team says Frank’s is here to stay. “We simply found a new group of folks to feed,” smiled Scotten.
All photography by Alden Bonecutter
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