Troy Guard knows what it’s like to run a traditional restaurant. The chef owns multiple entities including Guard and Grace, FNG, some Los Chingones and more ─ but now he has his eyes on a different food service concept.
Guard is in the midst of planning a food hall that will reside in the old CB & Potts that closed earlier this year at 6575 S. Greenwood Plaza Blvd. at the Denver Tech Center. While a name for the food hall is still in the works, Guard is anticipating an opening by the midpoint of the summer of 2020.
Food halls — modern, cafeteria-style markets — have grown in popularity throughout the Denver metro area with places like Avanti Food and Beverage, Denver Central Market and others sprouting up in recent years. By the end of 2020, there will be around 450 food halls around the country, according to a report from Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real estate services company.
“Obviously (food halls) are the new trend. I don’t think it’s a fad,” said Guard. “I think it’s here to stay. You see the growth year after year in all these different cities, but for me, the food hall type of thing has got something for everyone.”
Guard is planning to have up to 10 food vendors at the food hall. He says he wants his customers to have a wide variety of dishes to pick from, but the plans for what kinds of food will be offered are still unknown.
“The environment that we’re going to create inside is going to feel like a local pub,” said Kevin Hawkins, one of Guard’s partners. “We don’t just want to do average food. We want to do something over the top. (Guard) is one of the most highly regarded chefs in Colorado. He’s a great guy, has great ideas, a great team, and we’re excited.”
Aside from offering food, the food hall will include a brewery and a bar, operated by Ken Himel. He currently owns the Star Bar, located at 2137 Larimer St. Himel said he has hopes that the brewery will be award-worthy at some point.
“The bar is going to be just like every other element in the food hall. It is going to be able to stand on its own,” said Himel. “As far as this overall process of the food hall ─ you’re going to be able to be there for breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner, and you’re going to want to go there late at night.”