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The Kitchen Restaurant Group Opening Hedge Row in Cherry Creek

The American bistro will focus on wood-fire cooking and local ingredients

Photo: Lori Midson

The Boulder-based Kitchen Restaurant Group, founded by Jen Lewin, Hugo Matheson, and Kimbal Musk, has grown by leaps and bounds since the opening of its flagship restaurant—The Kitchen—on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall in the spring of 2004. Since then, the restaurant group’s portfolio has expanded to ten restaurants spanning three states: Colorado, Illinois, and Tennessee. And the pioneering trio is showing no signs of slowing down. The Kitchen Next Door, a more casual sibling to The Kitchen, is poised to open its fourth outpost in Stapleton’s Eastbridge Town Center within the next few months (a fifth location is also opening in Memphis, Tennessee), and now comes news that the group is unveiling a new concept: Hedge Row, a 4,300-square-foot American bistro centered around rustic dishes stoked by the embers of a wood-fire oven.

Wood-fire cooking is at the heart of Hedge Row.

Slated for a late May opening (the target date is May 29), Hedge Row, located on the street level of the luxurious Coda condominium complex in Cherry Creek {100 Steele Street}, is named after Hedgerow farm—now known as Cure Organic Farm—the Boulder County plot that provided produce to Lewin, Matheson and Musk when they unveiled the original Kitchen. Hedge Row, says Don Degnan, president of The Kitchen Restaurant Group, “pays tribute to its sourcing roots—and to all of the American farmers that produce high-quality food ingredients.”

The philosophies behind the new concept are markedly similar to the restaurant group’s original mission: connecting communities through good food, committing to eco-friendly practices, and sourcing impeccable ingredients. To that end, says Degnan, “Nearly all of the ingredients for our food and beverages will be sourced from American farmers, ranchers, fishmongers, and purveyors.” The kitchen team, spearheaded by Chef de Cuisine Paul Warthen, a Maryland native who raised cows, pigs, and chickens on the dairy farm where he grew up, will spotlight seasonal Colorado produce and proteins. “We’ll continue to work with Cure Organic Farm and ranchers like Roger Koberstein in Holyoke, Colorado,” notes Degnan. The wine list, he adds, will focus on American selections, although the list will also include globetrotting bottles.

Artist rendering of Hedge Row’s dining room.

The food at Hedge Row, created in an exhibition, white subway-tiled kitchen, is grounded in wood-roasted cooking, much of it vegetable-intensive. Signature items will include mole-braised short ribs with polenta and spring radishes; wood-roasted trout with almond brown butter and celery; charred Chinese broccoli paired with caramelized lemon, chile, and garlic; and house-baked cookie jars. The menu will also trumpet favorite staples from The Kitchen Restaurant Group: The Kitchen’s beloved tomato soup, Bolognese, and sticky toffee pudding, for example.

The founders chose Cherry Creek for its first Hedge Row location (a second outpost is opening in Indianapolis, Indiana) because of strong interest from the Cherry Creek neighborhood. “Hugo and Kimbal had been asked by various community members to come to Cherry Creek ever since they expanded to Denver in 2012,” says Degnan, adding that Coda “offered an amazing opportunity for The Kitchen Restaurant Group to open a new concept.” Like the food, many of the materials for the space, including the wood for the tables and bar, will be sourced from Colorado. A sidewalk patio is also planned.

By Lori Midson