“OPEN” is not your average deli counter sub-shop
Jake Rieder’s enduring experiences in the restaurant industry have undoubtedly shaped his goals for his new business – a sandwich shop that has cultivated a menu that describes much more than fusion. As many have done, Riederer has seen all the ranks that come with investing in the culinary lifestyle. He looked after tables like a waiter, hiding among the dishes filling the sink and charming customers for that extra tip. Riederer found comfort in working in front or in the kitchen as both sides felt like his home.
OPEN had a temporary stay at American Bonded for its debut, but now finds its home in the historic Goosetown Tavern, welcoming for the first time to the surrounding community of City Park since 1998. Open searched for a permanent home and found it October first. Next to the spray-painted mezcal sign is now the OPEN sign with still shiny graffiti, signaling that their relationship is cemented. It merges with Riederer’s concept of showcasing the creations of chefs who make their own mark in the history of the Denver culinary scene.
READ: ‘OPEN’ at RiNo serves six sandwiches made by some of Denver’s top chefs
âThe first thing everyone learns in the restaurant industry is not to open a restaurant. It’s an exhausting game. For me, this is the industry in which I found a purpose and a passion, so here we are â, said Riederer.
He settled in by enlisting his vocation in the management and left the kitchen to the chefs. He will be the first to say that he will not wear the chef’s hat.
Nonetheless, he finds his voice in the storytelling and unity that draws chefs to the industry. Rather than having ingredients put together to harmonize in a story, he cultivated that in building his restaurant concept – OPEN. The term amorphous eloquently describes the inclusiveness of those who enjoy a meal here and what they get out of it.
âEveryone should feel like they belong here, whether they’re dining in the most exclusive restaurants or just hungry and tripping,” Riederer said.
A glance at the menu and the idea of ââa typical sandwich shop saturated with cold cuts and suspicious tuna salad will not be found.. It’s clear that the comfort of peanut butter and jelly overflowing Wonder Bread will stay in the homes of those around it. Although nostalgic, they are being replaced, but some of Denver’s upper echelon chefs are reviving their acclaimed flavors amid the sheer pleasure of sliced ââbread. The collaborative chefs came together with the Riederer team to educate them enough to make their mini-masterpiece far beyond a typical lunch.
Some of Riederer’s friends featured include chefs at Cherry Creeks’ beloved sushi restaurant Matsuhisa, Osaka Ramen, where noodle sipping is a common sound, the essence of Denver’s Chinatown through Hop Alley, and the New Queen. dumplings roaming Denver, Yuan Wonton, from now on. Much like the name, there is always room for expansion by welcoming more chefs to implement through sandwiches. Riederer plans to spin more visions within his restaurant as his time goes on. Even in such a small online kitchen, the execution of complex sandwiches remains.
Toru Pork Katsusando ($ 15)
Chef Toru Watanabe forgoes his sushi blade and raw preparation for a fried delight. Fried chicken sandwiches captivate most Americans. However, in Asian cuisine, the crunchiness of panko-breaded pork cutlets reigns supreme. The cabbage shreds can be thought of as coleslaw and the creamy element is provided by Japanese mustard. Horseradish-like spiciness and heat resonates with a nod to Nashville’s well-known hot chicken.
Lee Sichuan Braised Beef Sandwich ($ 15)
It seems chef Tommy Lee has turned his back on his ties to Chinese cuisine for the French dip. Rather, the flavors of Sichuan turn into an unconventional sandwich shape. Peppercorns saturate each thin slice of braised beef and are finished with layers of provolone. The balance comes from aromatics like green onions and cilantro. Fortunately, the crust of the baguette absorbs the Sichuan juices provided on the side.
Osaka Kara Age Chicken ($ 15)
Osaka Ramen implies that the menu focuses on broths and endless strings of noodles. However, attendees crunch instead of slurp as a go-to order is the kara-age chicken. Therefore, Jeff Osaka stuffs his sandwich with these fried chicken thigh delicacies. The key is to ditch a flour dredge and go for one that creates a crisp, crispy rice or potato starch flour. The coleslaw adds color to this load and the lightly pickled pickles honor its crunchiness with every bite.
Wong Panko Crusted Eggplant ($ 15)
Most people experiment with eggplants covered in Parmesan and surrounded by spaghetti. Penelope Wong can’t go wrong when it comes to experimenting with food, as she does so regularly with surprise specialties in every pop-up menu. Therefore, instead of turning her iconic chili oil dumplings into a sandwich, she used another staple from her pantry, the underrated eggplant. It receives the same care as the pork katsusando.
Three of the four sandwiches are woefully incomplete without the fluffy white bread. This bread easily leaves in wonder, but it is not the brand, it is instead known as Shokupan – Japanese milk bread. Its popularity hits most cities with Japanese artisan bakeries carrying it – forcing them to ship it constantly. Now they’re teaming up with a hole-in-the-wall spot in Broomfield, The Enchanted Oven.
There are plenty of surprises after opening these doors. The decision taken on a whim continues to bear fruit. But it doesn’t look like that at all. So, is this unlikely crew the family everyone thinks a restaurant should be?
âWe are a well-oiled machine. Families are dysfunctional, think about yours, âRiederer says with a light laugh. âWe’re a team. We dive together and do a great job and that’s what I want it to be.
OPEN is located at 3242 E Colfax Ave., Denver. It is open Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.