Jeff Dixon has secured what he calls “an A+ site” for his first restaurant outside the Sooner State.
The founder and CEO of Oklahoma City-based Provision Concepts has struck a deal for the entire first floor of the new office building going up on the corner of 3rd and University in Cherry Creek.
“I know coming into this market I’ve got to be on top of my game,” Dixon said.
Provision operates 13 restaurants across multiple brands in Oklahoma, including its flagship Broadway 10, a steakhouse that Dixon opened on the outskirts of Oklahoma City in late 2014. It’s that restaurant — with its wood-fired grill, and its sushi menu — that he’s bringing to the edge of Cherry Creek.
Asked what he’d recommend to a first-time diner, Dixon responded: “You’re going to get a volcano roll and you’re going to get a strip kissed off the grill with pecan, oak and hickory.”
The four-story building is being developed by the Denver-based firms Elevation Development Group and Edgemark Development, which expect to complete it in the fourth quarter. The upper office floors are fully leased, with tenants including real estate finance firm Walker & Dunlop.
Broadway 10, which has about 9,300 square feet, will likely open by next summer.
Edgemark founder Rick Sapkin said there was tons of interest in the space given the thriving Cherry Creek restaurant scene. He heard from companies from New York to Florida, some of them big names in the fine dining scene that are publicly traded.
But he and his nephews — the Farber brothers of Elevation Development — ultimately struck a deal with Dixon after traveling twice to Oklahoma to sample his cuisine.
“The consistency of good quality is something I think takes a restaurant to the next level,” Sapkin said. “And that’s what he does.”
A deal between the two sides came together in about 60 days.
“I can move much more like a speedboat than some of those guys can with their big cruise ship,” Dixon said of publicly traded firms.
Dixon, 42, said he’s been in the restaurant business since age 19, when he started flipping burgers in his western Oklahoma hometown of Weatherford.
“I fell in love with the organized chaos,” he said.
Dixon spent years working for Hal Smith Restaurants, an Oklahoma-based firm with 85 locations in seven states, before starting Provision Concepts in 2013. Broadway 10 opened late the next year, on the corner of 10th and Broadway in the state’s capitol.
Broadway 10 is a steakhouse — although Dixon prefers the term “chophouse” — that also serves sushi and sashimi, as well as a sizable number of salads, starters and other meat and seafood entrees.
Dixon said the restaurant’s average ticket price is $45 per person, counting both lunch and dinner. On the dinner menu in Oklahoma City, sushi rolls range from $12 to $26, a 7-ounce filet mignon is $53 and a 20-ounce New York strip steak is $65. The blackened salmon salad will set you back $26.
The Denver menu may differ, and could incorporate items from other Provision spots, like the grilled watermelon salad with greens and poblano-whipped feta available at the company’s Riversa. Dixon is working with James Fox, a James Beard nominee who owns the Vecina restaurant in Phoenix.
Cherry Creek has two main steakhouses: 801 Chophouse and Elway’s. Hillstone, located next to where Broadway 10 will open, also offers sushi along with a mix of entrees. Recent entrants like Le Bilboquet and the forthcoming Le Colonial have elevated the neighborhood’s dining scene, but the more-approachable mainstay Cherry Cricket is also doing record sales.
“I would argue that Cherry Creek is now more important culinary-wise than downtown,” Sapkin said.
Dixon said Broadway 10 will stand out in part because it cooks its steaks over wood instead of gas. He’s in talks to hire Denver’s Semple Brown for interior design and said the look will eschew the low ceilings, dim lighting and crown molding often found in steakhouses. There will be a large horseshoe-shaped bar, private dining rooms and ample patio space.
“We wanted a place where you could loosen your necktie, have a laugh,” Dixon said.
This won’t be Dixon’s only excursion outside Oklahoma. He’s pursuing space in markets like Fort Worth and Phoenix, but said Cherry Creek will open first. He likes the density of the neighborhood, and the glass that frames the first floor. And he’s excited to make local connections.
“This business is people,” Dixon said. “It’s not food and beverage.”