Here in Denver, we can either lament change or embrace improvement. The Oxford Hotel, at 1600 17th Street, has stood its ground since 1891, pushing past decades of neglect when it was little more than a flophouse to become a handsome example of the city’s living history. Restaurants have come and gone here; the last was McCormick’s Fish House, which opened thirty years ago, right when LoDo became an official historic district, and suffered a rapid decline after the McCormick & Schmick’s chain was sold to Landry’s; it finally sputtered out at the start of the year, when its lease expired and Sage Hospitality, which owns the Oxford, was able to take over the space. Now the Sage Restaurant Group has breathed new life into the place, and will open Urban Farmer this Sunday, August 13.
Sage currently operates three other Urban Farmer modern steakhouses, in Cleveland, Philadelphia and Portland. Executive chef Chris Starkus just moved to Denver from Portland to helm the new outpost, and general manager Troy Christian has also made Denver his permanent home after opening two other Urban Farmers.
Beef sweetbreads with mushrooms, sweet corn, corn custard, pickled shallots and chicken jus.
Starkus notes that Urban Farmer definitely fits the steakhouse definition — with a dozen cuts and sizes at the center of the menu — but says the restaurant’s overall mission is true to its name. Out front on the patio facing Wazee Street, herbs, edible flowers, microgreens and sprouted grains grow in rectangular planters. On the rooftop, several beehives buzz with activity; the chef is nearly done with a seven-year program to earn his master-beekeeper…
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