By Tyra Sutak
For years, downtown Boulder has been the well-known epicenter of our celebrated culinary scene. Highly decorated chefs wander Pearl Street and neighboring streets every day.
So when the time came for Chef Hosea Rosenberg, poster chef for Boulder’s culinary world, to open the doors of his first brick and mortar venture, all eyes were on available buildings downtown. But in a bold move becoming more and more popular with local dining-driven entrepreneurs, Rosenberg threw everyone a curveball and opted to open up shop east of Foothills Parkway.
“It all really started twenty years ago when Adam Avery dropped anchor out here,” said Rosenberg, inspiring the chef to pass up opportunities in the downtown area and put down roots at his current location. “There are a lot of people out here. Plus, the rent is cheap and there’s a lot of parking.”
Cheap rent, tons of parking, and a handful of established neighbors concocting products of the liquid variety were all factors in Rosenberg’s decision to openBlackbelly Market in East Boulder. Having spent more than a decade making his name in prominent Boulder kitchens, Blackbelly is the culmination of many calculated baby steps in his accomplished career. The restaurant, bar, market, butcher shop, and final resting place for the majority of things grown at Rosenberg’sBlackbelly Farm opened its doors in November of 2014 in the old Minglewood digs at 1606 Conestoga St. #3. What started as a search for a commissary kitchen for Rosenberg’s other venture, Blackbelly Catering, evolved into a market with grab-and-go breakfast and lunch offerings. A butcher shop was added, ultimately resulting in a full remodel to include a bar and dining room before officially opening the doors to the throngs of curious diners striving to get a seat in one of Boulder’s hottest new restaurants.
“I see this area as the new hotspot,” said Rosenberg. “There’s Wildwoods Brewery. Bruis doing great things along with Ozo Coffee and Roundhouse Spirits. We’re all in the sandbox together out here.” The Top Chef makes it a point to support his neighbors by including locally-made beer and spirits on Blackbelly’s drink menu. Other menus at Blackbelly are filled with house-made meats and locally grown ingredients. $5 breakfast burritos with farm-fresh eggs are flying out the door from 7 to 11 a.m. during the work week, and the line at the market counter from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Monday through Friday) is a long one filled with local workers looking to grab a quick and tasty lunch before heading back to their nearby office. Happy hour is served daily from 4 to 6 p.m. giving dinners a variety of small bites served with a side of mystery. There’s a slider of the day and a fried thing of the day. And of course, in true east Boulder-love fashion, there’s also a $4 surprise Avery beer can of the day.
With Google’s announcement of an additional campus in Boulder and the close proximity of the nearby Ball campus and the Boulder Community Foothills Hospital location, Rosenberg is optimistic that the east Boulder culinary scene will continue to grow and thrive in years to come. “I think there’s going to be a lot more happening out here,” he said. And with a consistently full nightly reservation list and packed dedicated Blackbelly following—it’s hard to disagree.
Photo credit: Blackbelly Market