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Honor Society Opening later this month In LoDo

A new fast-casual, health-centric eatery by Chef Justin Brunson

Honor Society, Interior

Staff training is already underway at LoDo’s newest dining destination: Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery {1900 16th Street, #150, Denver; 720.420.0614}, scheduled to open later this month. Chef Justin Brunson, owner of Old Major, two Masterpiece Delis, and the Denver Bacon Company has partnered with a team of well-seasoned, high-powered executives to launch a new “fine casual” breakfast, lunch, and dinner spot with a focus on consciously sourced, nutrient-dense ingredients right behind Denver’s Union Station.

The Honorable Team: A very impressive professional team–Jonas Tempel, Rob Alvarado, and Ian Smith–joined Brunson in creating the Honor Society Concept. Tempel is the founder of Factory Design Lab advertising agency and co-founder of the online music store Beatport. Alvarado already owns and operates all the YUM brand franchises in Colorado, California, and New Mexico. And Ian Smith is the President of Prosper Food and Beverage Consulting and already has 20 years of restaurant experience under his belt. It should come as no surprise that once they get the first Honor Society up and running, the plan is to roll out more restaurants in the future.

Honor Society, Salad

The Concept: “Honor Society is based on the idea that great food has the power to unite people and provide a path to a healthier lifestyle,” Tempel says. Executive Chef Craig Dixon, formerly of Café Options and the recently shuttered B Side, will take over the day-to-day operations of the kitchen. “We’re using premium, consciously-sourced, nutrient-dense ingredients, and preparing them in a simple way to bring out their natural, delicious flavors,” Brunson says.

Honor Society, Honor Thy Belly

The Menu: Guests can build their own dishes from a core of five base proteins, including Gluten-Free Chia Seed Fried Chicken and Grilled Aspen Ridge Flank Steak. Proteins are available on a salad (Kale, Cashew Caesar, or Power Greens), or on a plate with two sides, some of which are served out of the colorful display of Le Creuset Dutch ovens. Sides range from a bright arugula salad with watermelon, mint, feta, and grilled onion to a comforting spoonful of cheddar macaroni and cheese. A choice of salads, gluten-free flatbread pizzas, and sandwiches rounds out the menu.

Honor Society, Sides

What’s Inside: The restaurant’s mantra–“Honor Thy Belly–is emblazoned on a wall of reclaimed wood just inside the rural-meets-urban space. Guests can watch the chefs create their meals in the large open-concept kitchen in the center of the space. A large photographic triptych is featured on the back wall, portraying images of fields and farmers. Throughout the restaurant, design elements reinforce Honor Society’s commitment to the farmers and communities that provide their ingredients.

Honor Society, Bar

To Drink: Unique among fast casual restaurants, Honor Society offers a full service, seasonally influenced bar program executed by Bar Manager Angie Batillo. In addition to classic cocktails, house-crafted cocktails, and four cocktails on tap, Honor Society also pours four craft beers and seven wines on tap, as well as an array of handcrafted non-alocholic lemonades and kombuchas.

By Elizabeth Woessner | Online Editor