By Brittany Anas / NewsBreak Denver
(Douglas County, Colo) Restaurateurs are looking to the southern suburbs to expand or open some of their latest eateries.
From star chef Troy Guard’s Greenwood Village food hall to the Instagram-ready, conveyor-belt sushi operation known as Sushi-Rama, check out five of the newest restaurants that have opened up near Park Meadows in Lone Tree.
Blue Island Oyster Bar & Seafood
Designed to look like a New England seafood house, Blue Island Oyster Bar & Seafood (1008 Commons St. in Lone Tree) has map murals showing where it sources its sustainable seafood.
The locally-owned restaurant has its own dedicated oyster farm, Blue Island Oyster Farms, and decades-long relationships with fishermen on both coasts, allowing for oysters to be flown in fresh on a daily basis.
This modern maritime restaurant (which has an original location in Cherry Creek) is where seafood lovers in the Douglas County area will find the most robust selection of dock-to-table oysters, clams, lobster, crab, caviar and dayboat catches.
The restaurant also has a creative sushi selection with rolls like the “Movie Night” that’s made with popcorn shrimp and Thai butter.
On brightly colored small plates that are covered, sushi rolls and sashimi loop around tables via conveyor belt at this fun restaurant that’s helmed by Denver Chef Jeff Osaka (also of Osaka Ramen and Empire).
The first Sushi-Ramen restaurant opened in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood, and now has pop art bedecked locations in both the Denver Tech Center at the Belleview Station (4960 S Newport St., Denver) and Lone Tree (10012 Commons St. Building C, Unit 106, Lone Tree).
Plate colors indicate the price of the rolls at six price points, like $2 pink plates with pairs of Philly, spicy tuna, or California rolls and $4 blue plates of surf & turf and spider rolls.
Sync up your sushi with sake or sake-based cocktails, like the Junmai Negroni made with gin, campari, sake and a lemon twist.
Technically, eight new restaurants have opened all under one roof. Located in the 1,300 square-foot former CB& Potts building, Grange Hall is an eight-stall food hall that Chef Troy Guard (Guard & Grace, Los Chingones) debuted in Greenwood Village.
The newest concepts here are Xatrucho, a Latin-inspired share plates concept (think: tacos, fried plantains with homemade crema fresca, and agua frescas) and Tilford’s Woodfired Pizza.
They join an existing line up of f&b concepts that opened in the fall, including Bubo bowls, The Crack Shack, J. Dawgs, Eiskaffee and in-house brewery Little Dry Creek Brewery with a focus on German-style beers.
Guard says demand has been high among restaurants that want to introduce their brand at Grange Hall because a food hall is a relatively low risk way to test a concept.
Urban Village Grill
Colorado Chef Charles Mani opened Urban Village Grill in Park Meadows (8505 Park Meadows Center Drive in Lone Tree) in November 2021.
Already, his dishes that put a contemporary culinary spin on time-honored recipes have garnered regulars at this Park Meadows restaurant near the Athleta store.
Menu standouts include crispy cauliflower tossed with tomato chili sauce, chicken tikka dumplings, and “not your grandma’s butter chicken.”
Chef’s coconut curry-roasted butternut squash is one of the most requested dishes.
Shake Shack opened a location in January in Greenwood Village (979 E. Arapahoe Road, Greenwood Village), testing out a new pick-up window location for those who want their burgers, crinkle cut fries and handspun milkshakes on the go.
The New York burger chain has been expanding its reach in Colorado, opening several locations in the metro area recently.
Regional riffs are on the menu at the Greenwood Village location, including a Green Chile Cheddarshack burger. Diners also can get local beers.