Honor Society hopes for high grades in LoDo



  • New restaurant coming to LoDo.
  • It’s name is Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery
  • The LEED-certified Honor Society opens this summer.
Honor Society coming to LoDo.

Honor Society coming to LoDo.

Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery, a new fast fine dining and lifestyle brand, is opening its first restaurant this summer in LoDo.

The 3,300-square-foot restaurant is opening at 1900 16th St.

Honor Society will feature handcrafted menu items, fresh juices, local craft beers, wines and specialty cocktails.

It will be open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner with dining room and bar seating.

Honor Society also will provide catering and delivery service, and deploy a full suite of digital assets for mobile ordering, menu downloads and nutritional information.

“Honor Society is based on the idea that great food has the power to unite people and provide a path to a healthier lifestyle,” said Jonas Tempel, one of Honor Society’s founding partners.

“It’s our humble belief that a productive life starts with your food and food choices,” Tempel added.

“Our vision was to combine the best of fast casual conveniences with the excellence and comfort of fine dining,” he said.

Four partners with diverse professional backgrounds – Tempel, Rob Alvarado, Ian Smith and Justin Brunson – created the Honor Society concept out of their shared desire to create a restaurant that serves high-quality, healthful food in a comfortable, inviting environment.

They’ve brought in local restaurant entrepreneur Ben Kaplan, of Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder and The Source in Denver, and Frank Schultz, CEO of Tavern Hospitality Group, as founding investors and advisers; as well as Glenn Pollak. Polack created several signature healthy craft cocktails exclusively for the restaurant.

Top Denver chef Brunson, owner and executive chef of Old Major and Masterpiece Deli, has focused Honor Society’s menu on heritage-raised meats, sustainable seafood and produced sourced from local farms.

“We’re using premium, consciously-sourced, nutrient-dense ingredients, and preparing them in a simple way to bring out their natural, delicious flavors,” said Brunson, who has received numerous culinary accolades, including Bon Appetit’s Top 50 New Restaurants (2013), Thrillist’s Best New Restaurants in America (2013), 5280 magazine’s Best New Restaurant (2014) and Westword’s Readers Choice Best Chef (2014).

Honor Society’s patrons can choose between plated meals that include base proteins and side dishes.

Some of the protein options from Brunson’s menu include Grilled Aspen Ridge Flank Steak and Sustainable Scottish Salmon. The side dishes will rotate seasonally and will include organically fish, re-roasted rainbow carrots, sautéed spinach and kale with garlic and chili flakes and gluten free mac and cheese.

The restaurant will also offer sandwiches, salads, flatbreads and a variety of freshly made lemonades and teas. Menu items are priced in the $8 to $14 range.

The restaurant’s interior aesthetic – designed by Rowland+Broughton Architecture and Urban Design – will combine natural reclaimed surfaces with clean, contemporary sight lines, a look comparable to upscale fine dining.

In addition, Honor Society – which will be one of the few non-chain restaurants to be LEED certified – will use recycled and repurposed packaging materials in the restaurant, will seek out environmentally conscious vendors and suppliers, and will use consciously-sourced products.

Alvarado is CEO and managing partner of Palo Alto Inc./Alvarado Concepts LLC, which own and operate 144 YUM Brands franchises in Colorado, California and New Mexico.

“What excites me most about this project is the brand’s higher purpose of improving lives,” Alvarado said.

“For our guests, we have the opportunity to positively affect eating habits by offering high-quality, healthful and craveable food and beverages at a great value,” he continued.

“However, our reach will extend well beyond the four walls of the restaurant as we are committed to investing in improving the lives of our co-workers and communities,” he said.

Tempel founded ad agency Factory Design Labs in Denver, a full-service international ad agency. Tempel also co-founded Beatport in 2004, an online music store specializing in electronic music and culture.

Rounding out the team of founding partners is Ian Smith, who has nearly 20 years of experience in the food and beverage industry in front of the house, back of house and restaurant formation roles. He is president of Prosper Food & Beverage Consulting.

“As a team, our mantra is honor your body, honor your spirit and honor your community,” Smith said. “We look forward to launching Honor Society in Denver.”

Honor Society support organizations in the Denver area focusing on healthful eating, nutrition, sustainable food and farming practices, and hospitality .

The team has created the “Honor Academy,” which will invest in education, training and personal development of its employees

Interested in buying a home in LoDo? Please visit COhomefinder.com to find out what is on the market.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com. DenverRealEstateWatch.com is sponsored by 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.





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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for GlobeSt.com, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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