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Morning Collective Now Open in Rosedale

Two Snooze alums have created a lively new breakfast and brunch destination

Two long-time Snooze alums, Chef Joseph Strelnik and John “JD” Daniels have joined forces to create a new morning destination spot. Morning Collective {2160 South Broadway, Denver; 303.953.9943} opened in the Rosedale neighborhood on April 3 in what was once a 7-11. The area has seen a renaissance of late and with the recent opening of next-door neighbor Post Chicken & Beer, it is quickly becoming a destination neighborhood.

Morning Collective Outdoor Waiting Patio Photo courtesy of Take You Wild Photography

Strelnik hails from Johnstown in Western Pennsylvania and the restaurant’s ambiance pays homage to his country roots. The 2500-square-foot, 80-seat space features 1950’s wallpaper that reminds Strelnik of his grandmother’s kitchen, reclaimed steel, vinyl booths, and vintage country touches throughout. It’s a quirky cross between a cool retro diner and a farmhouse kitchen.

Morning Collective Antique Hutch Photo courtesy of Take You Wild Photography

Diners who are tired of standing in line on a street corner just to get breakfast will be thrilled by the outdoor waiting area where they can sit at a picnic table and enjoy a cup of coffee or a Sunrise Elixir (with or without alcohol) while they wait to be seated. For those who want to enjoy the Colorado sunshine while they dine, there is a dining patio that seats 24.

Strelnik’s resume includes stints in France, Great Britain, and Hawaii where he honed his fine dining skills. He came to Colorado and started his career as a sous chef with Snooze in Fort Collins. Shortly thereafter, he worked his way up to become the company’s Chief Culinary Coordinator and in partnership with ‘JD’ Daniels opened several new Snooze locations nationwide. His menu mirrors his background, bridging the gap between fine dining and down-home comfort. Every dish feels comfortable and familiar, but with a closer look guests will find an unexpected twist.

Sunrise Crispy Rancheros Photo courtesy of Take You Wild Photography

The menu has something for everyone. “It was important to me to create a menu that serves today’s diners well,” said Strelnik. “Our guests may have gluten sensitivities or be extremely health conscious. We want them to know they can still enjoy a delicious breakfast or brunch out with friends, without impacting their diets.” Vegan, vegetarians, and gluten-free options are all available. For those trying to shed pounds, head to the “Crave and Behave” menu and enjoy a filling breakfast with less than 300 calories.

Stuffed French Toast | Photo courtesy of Take You Wild Photography

The menu’s “Daily Breads” section features pancakes and French toasts, each stuffed with a surprise center—s’mores, pistachio tres leches, banana hazelnut, or strawberry cheesecake. The “Stacked Benedicts” are inventive, fun, and delicious. Our pick is the “Three Lil Pigs Benedict” featuring coffee-braised pork belly, ham, and aged cheddar tots smothered in bacon hollandaise. “We created a menu full of house-made ingredients, that feels familiar, but offers a fun twist on morning favorites.” There are, of course, traditional breakfast choices such as omelets, burritos, rancheros, and breakfast burritos.

Stacked Benedicts Photo courtesy of Take You Wild Photography

If you are a tater tot fanatic, you have come to the right place. The Morning Collective tater tots are guaranteed to win every Tot Award in the country. Crispy exteriors and light fluffy interiors make them the most “moreish” dish on the menu—don’t get a plate to share, just keep them for yourself.

Morning Collective TotsPhoto courtesy of Take You Wild Photography

There are also some mighty fine lunch options that include green chili, seasonal salads, The Reuben, The Collective BLT, grilled ham and cheese, and the Pork Belly Cuban with layers of pork belly, thick cut ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and a house-made coffee mustard.

Morning Collective Pork Belly CubanPhoto courtesy of Take You Wild Photography

Hobbits are not the only ones who like a “Second Breakfast”. For those who eat several small meals a day or for those who know they are going to want more of Strelnik’s food soon, order a second breakfast for $10 to eat in or take out.

Sunrise Elixir Photo courtesy of Take You Wild Photography

Let’s not forget the drinks! With or without booze, a Morning Collective “Sunrise Elixir” will help you face the day. How does this sound as liquid energy to start your day—The Kings Boozy Dilemma, with caramelized banana froth, bacon ice, CODA cold brew coffee, peanut butter cream, and Fireside whiskey? The beverage program includes many local wines, beers, and spirits, including Mile High Spirits’ Elevate Vodka and Fireside Whiskey; Laws Whiskey; Anvil Distillery’s Grumpy’s Vodka and Iron Face Gin; Black Project beer; and Infinite Monkey Theorem wine. The non-alcoholic, pre-work beverages are pretty fantastic to—S’mores, made with toasted marshmallow cream, dark chocolate ice, CODA cold brew coffee and graham cracker cream. Or a Horchata Iced Latte, with homemade Horchata, CODA cold brew coffee, Horchata ice and Horchata froth—that’s a lotta Horchata!

Morning Collective is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It will soon become your go-to spot for breakfast, brunch, or lunch.

By Elizabeth Woessner