Downtown Denver is getting a HashTAG. (No, we’re not talking about Twitter or Instagram.)
Restaurateur Troy Guard is planning to open his second HashTAG breakfast joint at 1125 17th St. in a former Chase Bank space early next year.
Guard’s TAG Restaurant Group opened the first location of HashTAG in Central Park in 2017.
“What I like is that Snooze is at Union Station and on 23rd and Larimer, and Sam’s No. 3 is on 15th Street, so we’re kind of in the middle,” Guard said of the new location. “Plus, the city is going to redo the four blocks of park area right there, which was appealing, and the Westin is across the street with none of its own restaurants.”
Guests can expect to dig in to the breakfast spot’s eggs benedicts, chilaquiles, cast-iron cinnamon rolls, biscuits and gravy and platter-sized HashTAG hotcakes in various seasonal flavors.
But Guard also wants to add some of his Hawaiian roots to the menu, including more Spam dishes, Portuguese sausage and slushy cocktails. The new 4,000-square-foot space will have an outdoor rooftop patio, which the restaurant group plans to enclose in the winter so that it can be used year-round.
“It’s been five years since we opened the first HashTAG and, in that time, we’ve learned a lot, seen a lot, and we’re not going to solely focus on breakfast any longer,” Guard said. “We want this new space to be utilized all day long, so we’re going to do happy hours there, private rooms and catering.”
Once the brunch menu ends around 3 p.m. at HashTAG’s new space, Guard plans to offer small bites and happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m.
Guard is doing a full buildout of the space and has hired Ohio-based Rowe Creative Union to design it. He wants to put Hawaiian elements throughout, including lots of plants and warm, inviting tones.
“You won’t see tacky, floral tourist shirts everywhere, but it will have a beachy feel,” he said.
TAG Restaurant Group was planning to open a third HashTAG location in Highlands Ranch, but Guard said the location fell through. He wants to expand the brand, much like he’s done with Bubu and Los Chingones, and plans to open four HashTAGs in Colorado in the next two years.
In December, Guard and business partners Kevin Hawkins (who owns Centennial-based Hawkins Development) and Ken Himel (a senior broker for David, Hicks & Lampert) sold Grange Hall, the Greenwood Village food hall that opened in September 2021, for $5.2 million to Houston-based RCI Hospitality Holdings, a huge, publicly traded strip club operator.
Guard said the ownership group received multiple offers from RCI, and they ultimately couldn’t pass up such a good deal. “We had a really good year, got our feet wet, and I learned a lot with my first food hall,” Guard said. “But my partners know real estate more than I do, and decided it was too good of an offer to walk away from.”
This story first appeared in BusinessDen news partner The Denver Post.