Syd Younggreen and Brian de Souza don’t just want guests trying their fine dining cuisine.
They want regulars.
The couple started The Guest, a reservation-only dinner series with a rotating multi-course menu, in Boulder in August 2020. They then moved the private dining experience to Denver, hosting dinners two nights a week in their LoDo loft for the past six months.
The pair have now found a new spot nearby for their dinner series. And on top of that, they’re opening a more traditional restaurant — no reservations required — called The Regular at 1432 Market St.
“We want this to be neighborhood approachable,” de Souza said. “With The Guest, you don’t know the menu. But with The Regular, we’re trying to satisfy every kind of palate.”
Younggreen, 26, and de Souza, 30, signed a six-year lease for The Regular’s 6,500-square-foot space, previously home to Maloney’s Tavern, in November.
They had been looking for a permanent restaurant fixture in Denver since they moved to Boulder in 2019, and were interested in the Milk & Honey Bar space in Larimer Square, but landlord Asana Partners would only offer a one-year lease.
Asana was willing to do a longer lease for the larger spot on Market Street, and has promised to pay for nearly 50 percent of the buildout, the couple said.
The Regular will have an eclectic, upscale menu with homemade pastas and seafood, steak and vegetarian options. It will be open Tuesday through Saturday for happy hour at 3 p.m. and dinner at 5 p.m.
The chefs have also leased an 800-square-foot space for The Guest just two blocks away, although they declined to disclose the exact location; guests don’t get the address until they have a reservation.
Younggreen and de Souza hope to open both spots in October.
The Guest will be open two nights a week and have room for 22 guests, with a set price of $215 for up to 17 courses. No advance notice is given of the menu, which changes every other month. De Souza and Younggreen do all the cooking, and offer wine pairings and cocktails as well.
“We still have a waitlist of 700 people, so we hope to be packed for a few months,” de Souza said.
Younggreen added, “There’s so many people moving here from L.A. and New York that are so used to this kind of dining experience, and I really think Denver is ready for this level of cuisine.”
Because The Regular’s space is so large, and Younggreen and de Souza want it to be a more intimate environment, they decided to open a market in the front of the restaurant called El Mercado. El Mercado will serve coffee, pastries, seasonal produce, cured meats, seafood and local vendor items. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Roth Sheppard Architects is designing all three concepts.
“The history of this street is that it used to house an old market. So, we want to bring the market back to Market Street,” Younggreen said.
Younggreen graduated from CU Boulder in 2018 and then moved to New York City to attend culinary school. She and de Souza met while working at a restaurant together, and the two have worked for high-end spots like Blue Hill and Le Bernardin.
The couple started testing out their fine-dining skills on their friends, hosting dinner parties at their small apartment in Manhattan. But it blew up quick.
“At one point, the managers from Le Bernardin came to eat at our apartment. Word just spread like wildfire,” Younggreen said.
Younggreen later took de Souza home to meet her parents in Boulder, and he quickly fell in love.
“We had always had our sight set on opening our own restaurant, and we just saw more potential in Colorado than we did in New York City,” de Souza said.
The couple opened The Guest in a bungalow in central Boulder in August 2020 and said they were nearly fully booked every night up until they closed a year later to move to Denver.
“At first, I was hesitant whether Colorado was ready for a tasting menu at this price point. But we had so many guests that came for every menu, and we hope to do the same in Denver,” Younggreen said.