Talk about a bold food venture: James Killebrew and Chris McAdams, both 46-year-old former corporate event planners, are launching a one-of-a-kind restaurant built almost entirely around America's favorite lunchbox item. Opb&j (3 E. Bijou St.), upon its tentative June 1 opening, will serve a variety of custom peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches on organic and gluten-free and all-natural breads. They'll use organic New Mexico peanut butter and organic jams and jellies from the Midwest.
McAdams, who also brings years of Manhattan restaurant experience to the business, says customers in the "healthy, fast and casual" eatery will be able to construct their own PB&Js — like building a sandwich at Subway — choosing from varieties of the nut spread and jellies, and condiments like granola, coconut flakes, agave and cinnamon shaved off the stick. Even more interesting, look for a unique take on sushi: basically a rolled sandwich featuring Thai red pepper peanut butter with pepper jelly, carrots and watercress.
Initially, the outfit will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but McAdams says they plan to serve breakfast, too. With possible corporate expansion in mind, the partners have chosen "food-friendly trendy colors" (apricot and green) for the décor and plan to be a certified green business, using not only local foods, but sugarcane-based, compostable utensils and the like. Sandwiches should cost between $3 and $6; visit opbandj.com soon for more.
Jive talk in OCC
By now, in our caffeine-soaked society, everyone's pretty much clear on what fair-trade coffee is. But "direct-trade coffee" is something a little different, and locally, it should set apart new Old Colorado City venture Jives Coffee Lounge (16 Colbrunn Court, jivescoffeelounge.com).
According to assistant manager Paul Fair, whose father, Randy, is the owner, Jives sources beans from Denver-based roaster Novo (novocoffee.com), whose founders actually visit and set up personal relationships with coffee-growing families internationally.
"We're paying over twice as much per pound [as for regular coffee], but we're willing to eat that," Paul says. "We want to make sure that our money is going to local communities."
Paul, the oldest of 10 home-schooled children ("No, we're not Mormon or Roman Catholic"), says his father still runs a local database programming and consulting firm. Their outfit will have a soft opening sometime this weekend, to be followed later by a grand opening. Look for locally baked items such as cookies, scones and bagels, as well as a discount for bringing your own cup.