Sage Restaurant Group—the Denver-based independent restaurant group dedicated to providing innovative, playful, and locally tailored food and beverage experiences —introduced the Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market (378 Walnut St.) to the Fort Collins, Colorado, community. Opening Wednesday, the original concept brings a vibrant gathering place to the Old Town dining scene with an all-inclusive atmosphere, featuring an American brasserie restaurant; a market showcasing worldly products including wine, artisanal cheeses, and meats from an in-house butchery, and more. SRG also introduces Bowerbird Coffee, a vibrant new coffee brand in partnership with Fort Collins-based Peritus Coffee Roasters.
“We have been looking to open a restaurant in Fort Collins for quite some time – the city itself is filled with culture, and the residents are decidedly down-to-earth and welcoming,” SRG Co-Founder Peter Karpinski says. “It is the ideal destination for this versatile, come-as-you-are concept, and we hope guests enjoy the treasure trove of delights within Emporium.”
Executive Chef David Anderson helms the kitchen at the American brasserie highlighting high quality, locally-sourced ingredients, from fresh fish to wild foraged mushrooms. The open concept kitchen is the centerpoint of the restaurant, in which Chef Anderson showcases rotisserie items, flatbreads and grilled dishes. The menu features signature items such as a House-made Charcuterie Platter with pickled vegetables and mustards; Bangs Island Mussels and Frites with white wine, herbs, shallots, and butter; and Steak Frites. Other menu highlights include Skuna Bay Salmon en Papillote with braised fennel, fingerling potatoes, baby beets, pernod, and nicoise olive butter, and Elk Wellington tenderloin with puff pastry, mushroom duxelles, creamed kale and Yukon gold mashed potatoes. To complement Chef Anderson’s menu, SRG’s Vice President of Beverage Operations Brandon Wise heads up the beverage program, incorporating fresh juices and handcrafted mixers into signature cocktails, and spearheading partnerships with local spirits brands and craft breweries. Additionally, wines from the market are offered by the glass and by the bottle.
Designed to be a local hangout where guests can linger and sample, meet a friend for a quick lunch, pick up dinner for the family, or grab a snack and go, the market pulls from international influences to offer a one-stop shop filled with sundries to satisy any need. Items include a wide variety of wines and gifts, paired with in-house specialties such as house-made charcuterie, artisanal farmstead cheeses, unique condiments, and more. Dedicated counters serve everything from deli items, made-to-order gourmet sandwiches and grilled flatbreads.
Modeled after the Bowerbird, a striking bird that nests by gathering everyday items and sorting them by color, Bowerbird Coffee offers a jolt of creativity and quirkiness to the Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market. Sage Restaurant Group partners with local, well-respected brand, Peritus Coffee Roasters, to serve freshly brewed coffee available by the cup and for retail. A counter serving ice cream from Windsor-based company Longview Creamery, pastries, and other goodies round out the Bowerbird Coffee shop.
Located adjacent to the Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market, Magic Rat brings Fort Collins residents an original live music venue with day to night entertainment. Blending the comfortability and intimacy of a neighborhood bar with the vibe of a high-energy music venue, the lounge offers a lively hangout for a beer, a glass of wine, or a craft cocktail paired with curious bites such as Beef Jerky and other concert-friendly provisions. Wise creates signature cocktails including the Jersey Mule and The Rider, a bucket of beer adorned with mini airplane bottles of whiskey.
With the imaginative spirit of the Fort Collins community in mind, Karpinski and Sage Restaurant Group engaged local artists and students from CSU to curate a communal art wall through a partnership with Denver-based NINE dot ARTS. The pieces harness the eclecticism of the space, and range from acrylic paintings to watercolor to mixed media.
SRG also enlisted New York City-based dash design to create the whimsical look and feel of the Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market’s interior. Dash design owner David Ashen says, “The aesthetic is small town, local provisioner meets larger all-embracing emporium – featuring a reclaimed wood floor, chalkboards, painted wood shelving and open deli cases – mixed with an industrial modernity through the usage of architectural elements like metal and wood archways and broadway lighting.”
Emporium’s supplementary brand work is imagined by The Made Shop, a small design studio with offices in Denver and LA, founded by architect-turned-designer Marke Johnson and known for making uniquely beautiful brands, art, spaces, ideas, and more.