Families of the south (suburbs), your food hall has arrived. The Grange Hall, which opened in September, serves up a family-friendly atmosphere and food created by a collection of the best chefs in the local food scene (and a popular new import from San Diego).
Just in case you’re not familiar, food halls bring together a number of food concepts—a fancy word for restaurants or ideas for restaurants—in stalls surrounding a large dining area. Sound familiar? OK, so the idea is reminiscent of the old mall food courts, but the modern food halls offer a truly elevated experience: a chance to sample some of the best food around, a bar, and an interesting location. For Grange Hall, that location is the Denver Tech Center, in a repurposed building previously occupied by a C.B. Potts; just off of Arapahoe Road at Greenwood Plaza Boulevard.
Troy Guard, a partner in the hall, is known for his family of popular local restaurants, including TAG Burger Bar and Guard and Grace. Guard created the concept and the name for the hall from the idea of the old grange halls that anchored historic rural communities. “It was a meeting place to come and share and be social,” he says.
For this modern gathering place, Guard—a father of three—wanted the space to emphasize a relaxed atmosphere for families. While parents sip a beer or cocktail from the Little Dry Creek Brewery, awash in a mountain sunset view, kids can play cornhole, shuffleboard, a video game, or toddle around freely. Families can also enjoy special events and a weekend brunch, with brunch items offered at each concept. As Guard says, “There’s something for everybody.” Sharing a large parking area with the movie theater next door means it’s also a convenient place to grab a bite before or after the latest family film release.
The main offerings of the adult- and kid-friendly food concepts include burgers, fried chicken, grain bowls, gyros, and pizza—all perfect for casual family meals any day of the week.
All Restaurants Should Have a Giant Chicken
Rarely do you walk into a restaurant to be greeted by a ten-foot tall, glossy white chicken, but here? Yeah, you’ll have the perfect jaw dropping moment for the kids within steps of the front door. In the tradition of historic grange halls, where families might have brought chickens and other livestock to sell or barter, the poultry in the middle of the buzzy Tech Center spot feels just right.
Duck behind the chicken to order at the appropriately named Crack Shack. The San Diego transplant, which started in the parking lot of the popular fine dining concept Juniper and Ivy, serves up addictive fried chicken sandwiches prepared with locally sourced chicken from Red Bird Farm and proprietary “Crack Spice” from the OG location in San Diego. Milkshakes feature Little Man ice cream. In fact, as many things as possible have a connection to local sources. “We want to come in and be a part of the community, not just be a concept that drops into the community,” says Dan Pena, director of operations for Crack Shack.
Try the Coop Deville, a juicy chicken breast with a refreshing slaw and lime mayo, on a brioche bun, or the spicy Firebird topped with crispy onions, pickles, and cool ranch on a potato roll. The kids meal comes with meaty, flavorful chicken nuggets, breaded or grilled, a choice of carrots or fries, and a juice box.
Burgers: Always a Family Favorite
Denverites already loved the mouthwatering burgers at Guard’s now closed TAG Burger Bar in Denver. Rado Burgers (named for ColoRADO) brings the opportunity to grab one of the delicious burgers out to the southern suburbs. Choose from one of the signature burgers or customize the namesake Rado Burger with add-ons like applewood bacon, avocado, mushrooms, truffle mayo, or caramelized shallots. Add a side of sweet potato or regular fries and save room to share an order of Mrs. Guard’s Triple Chocolate Cookies, which come three to an order. Kids menu at Rado Burgers includes a kid’s burger, a side of fries, and one of those perfect meal-ending cookies.
New Pizza Concept
Not only do food halls give diners an opportunity to try a variety of concepts, they also give chefs an opportunity to share a new concept with diners. Crazy Love Pizza is one of Guard’s new concepts, a Sicilian-style pizza on a thick sourdough crust. Grab a traditionally topped pie or try creative combos like The Nashville with crispy chicken, hot honey, and dill pickles, or Spicy Scampi with shrimp, Calabrian chili, garlic, and parmesan cheese. Picky kids will appreciate the margarita or pepperoni pizzas. For cocktails with a group of grown-ups, check out the appetizer menu with a mix of traditional Italian favorites like olives, burrata, salami, and herbed marcona almonds.
Try a Bowl
Adventurous young eaters looking to expand their palates will enjoy customizing the bowls at the Bubu concept. With a base of rice (white or brown), greens, or rice noodles, kids can flex their independence selecting from a variety of proteins, seasonal vegetables, and dried topping like seeds, nuts, and crispy wontons. Vegetarians will find a variety of options at this concept.
From Food Truck to Stall
Making the leap from the Denver food truck scene, Uptown & Humboldt, brings an eclectic mix of offerings to their stall. The specialty gyros are hearty and filled with falafel, lamb, or baja fish, and mini hoagies come in ham and cheese or PB&J, which actually includes a mix of both peanut and almond butter. Order fries, yuca fries, or coleslaw for the side, but please do leave room to share one of the Empanadillas, a crispy, warm pocket of dates, walnuts, and dulce de leche.
And, Of Course, Ice Cream
Although Eiskaffee’s signature treat is cold brew coffee topped with ice cream, there are plenty of options for all ages and tastes. Kids can choose from scoops of High Point Creamery ice cream, as well as milk shakes, malts, and floats. And even if you just need an ice-cream-free afternoon pick-me-up, this is where you can order up a coffee drink, espresso, latte, or tea, and a fresh pastry.
New restaurant concepts are expected to swap in to available stalls from time to time, including a planned gourmet hot dog stall, completing the trifecta of family favorites: burgers, pizza, and hot dogs. Visit the calendar of events on the website to learn about upcoming events and happenings.
Need to Know: Grange Hall, 6575 Greenwood Plaza Blvd., Greenwood Village. Open Tuesday through Sunday, closed Mondays. Open for brunch Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.