Olive & Finch is getting a little sister.
Chef Mary Nguyen, owner of the casual eatery and bakery with two locations, is getting ready to open an all-day cafe specializing in takeout meals called Little Finch this winter at 1490 16th Street Mall in LoDo.
“The inspiration for this comes from the all-day bistros that are the heartbeat of European culture,” Nguyen said. “I want to offer something affordable and easily accessible, yet still chef driven.”
Nguyen opened Olive & Finch’s first location at 1552 E. 17th Ave. in Uptown in 2013 and added another in Cherry Creek in 2017. She also operates a wholesale bakery and kitchen called Olive & Finch On The Fly at 4609 E. Colfax Ave. in South Park Hill.
Little Finch will offer grab-and-go meals, like salads, sandwiches and snack boxes, as well as pastries and coffee in the morning and cocktails at night. There will also be a retail section with goods from local vendors such as jams, soups and pickles.
“I really think there’s so much change right now going on at 16th Street Mall and downtown, and I know when I’m going down in that area, there aren’t a lot of places that are quick and easy that are still chef driven and affordable,” Nguyen said. “I’ve always wanted somewhere like Little Finch to go when I’m running into a meeting or on break. There’s not a lot of options downtown, just fast food or fine dining.”
Nguyen leased the 2,500-square-foot space in February. It was previously home to a Starbucks that closed in 2020. She gutted the space and hopes to open in early winter this year with hours from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Nguyen, a 47-year-old Denver native, started Olive & Finch as a passion project. She owned two other restaurants prior: Parallel Seventeen and Street Kitchen.
“The dining scene in Denver 10 years ago was all about fine dining,” Nguyen said. “A chef-driven casual eatery was something I wanted as a consumer, and our guests really resonated with that. The first day we opened we had a line out the door, and the lines haven’t stopped since.”
Olive & Finch wholesales its packaged meals to a variety of businesses around town, including Rose Medical Center, Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center and Platte Street Mercantile.
Nguyen said she is always searching for more locations for Olive & Finch and now Little Finch and is eyeing the Denver Tech Center and downtown Denver.