The Gods are smiling
If you figured that Garden of the Gods Gourmet Market & Café (410 S. 26th St., godsgourmet.com) had reached a resting point, now that it's in its swank new $1.5 million location, then you don't yet know the mind of Mitchell Yellen. The company's majority owner, president and CEO calls himself a nontraditional planner who over 30 years has exposed "traditional financial planning as misleading and misguided."
His key to wealth: "a focus on banking, businesses and real estate." In investments such as the Pinery at the Hill and GOGG, he's acquired enough investor capital to buy the land under the buildings. And from one success stems another, such as a new $1.9 million GOGG location planning to tentatively open Dec. 15, 2015, near SuperTarget and the intersection of Briargate Parkway and North Powers Boulevard.
That's just the first of eight more that Yellen has in mind for cities like Lone Tree, Boulder and Castle Rock. His confidence comes from seeing regular hour-long weekend waits for the 92 seats at GOGG, plus good walk-out retail business from the Colorado-centric gourmet market.
"It's a different formula," says Yellen, speaking to the restaurant and market combo. "Trends are moving in our direction."
The Briargate spot — 11,000 square feet, 4,800 of that market space — would host 250 seats, plus private dining room capacity. It would also yield a "very elaborate" home delivery service and a culinary school with daily classes, he says, noting a plan for two full kitchens and a small greenhouse, plus the creation of 75 jobs.
"I'm willing to spend more money and make a little less on the margins," he says, "because I'm in this to change the culture. ... I'm never satisfied at where we are, I want to do better."
Yellen says he'll send staff to train with the likes of Chopped guest judge Adam Sobel of San Francisco's RN74. Post-tutorial, he envisions the creation of another 150 in-house market products, with emphasis on vegan and gluten-free items.
"Our goal, is in the next 24 to 36 months, to be a farm-to-fork company with no Shamrock trucks pulling up," he says.
Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione has created an "organoleptic hop transducing module" named Randall the Enamel Animal. In layman's terms, it's a gadget that, when attached to a tap, allows beer to pour through anything from hops to fruits and spices, making for fun infusions.
On Saturday, Nov. 22, Green Man Taproom (320 S. Weber St., greenmantaps.com) will feature Randall at NovemberFRESH Craftbeer Fest, an Indy Give! event for the Rocky Mountain Field Institute. Entry is $5 online ($10/door) to sample Nano 108, Lofty, Smiling Toad and Great Storm brews.