Troy Guard becomes an operating partner of Madison Street

Categories: Cafe Society

Lori Midson
Last week, Joe Vostrejs, the COO of Larimer Associates, was heading home from Madison Street, the Congress Park neighborhood restaurant he opened in October of last year, when he started to think about dots -- specifically, connecting those dots to Troy Guard, the chef/owner of TAG and TAG RAW BAR, both of which reside in Larimer Square.

Guard, says Vostrejs, had been voicing his long range goals, not the least of which was to continue to expand his culinary kingdom -- not just for himself, or for Leigh Sullivan, his wife, but for his kitchen staff. "Troy has done an amazing job of attracting talent to his kitchen, and he wanted to provide more opportunities for his staff than what existed at TAG and TAG|RAW BAR," explains Vostrejs.

And Vostrejs, who opened Madison Street under the scrutiny of a handful of skeptical neighbors, had been contemplating making some changes of his own. "There was a bit of a disconnect between what we were providing to the neighborhood, and what the neighbors wanted," notes Vostrejs, pointing, in particular, to the menu. "We have killer burgers and really good fish tacos, which the neighborhood loves, but they also want more sophisticated fare -- food that goes above and beyond a burger and good pub food," he says.

And who better to raise the bar, wondered Vostrejs, than Guard and his staff? "It's a great opportunity for Troy that doesn't come with any risk, and it's a great opportunity for us to take the restaurant to the next level -- to connect the dots and kill two birds with one stone," reasons Vostrejs, who describes partnering with Guard as a "win-win situation."

Rob Micheals, the former daytime chef at TAG, is the new exec chef at Madison Street.
The board, maintains Vostrejs, will continue to remain "accessible and familiar," but, he notes, he's counting on Guard to "dial it up and make it more distinctive and memorable."

But while Guard is now an operating partner -- "This is Troy's deal, and he's 100 percent responsible for the operation," says Vostrejs -- Guard, who's firmly entrenched behind the lines at TAG and TAG|RAW BAR, won't be cooking at Madison Street.

Instead, the head kitchen gig will go to Rob Michaels, the daytime chef at TAG. "We're flush with talent at both restaurants," says Sullivan, "and these guys are hungry to do more." Michaels, who has been with TAG for eight months, and controls the day-to-day lunches, will pull inspiration from the TAG lunch menu, as well as dishes from the now-defunct Nine75, where Guard was the opening executive chef. "The menu will be unique and different, with lots of great variations from the lunch menu at TAG, and we're also looking forward to bringing some dishes back from Nine75," explains Sullivan.

For his part, Vostrejs says that bringing Michaels into the mix "creates an ideal opportunity for him to move up." And that, he insists, is what it's all about. "This is how we prefer to work, and partnering with Troy again is something that we're thrilled to do," concludes Vostrejs.

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Number Three
Number Three

I figured I would save my comments until I went back to Madison Street and tried the "new" menu.

My girlfriend and I LOVED Madison Street when it first opened. We live right down the block and right off the bat it was exactly what we wanted in the neighborhood. A few weeks ago, we went down for an early dinner and something was a miss. Our beloved tacos were dry and under seasoned served with a side of mushy beans and rice, my french fries (all 5 of them) were cold and looked liked they were cooked in week old grease. Then the bill came. The fries don't come with the burger? Really? I can go to H Burger, get a better meal at half the cost. SAD FACE!

Well, after hearing about the changes we decided to go back this week. Hello fresh, most, flavorful tacos! Where have you been (for $11, you should add some sort of side with those things though). Why nice to meet you grill cheese sandwich with tomato basil soup. And your only a $7 special? I WIN! The soup alone was amazing. Not over seasoned, fresh and very clean tasting.

Well, I am happy to have our little neighborhood eatery back. In all honesty, haven't seen too many changes in the menu yet but if the quality is there, we are excited to see what you do with it.



That's actually MY boy, and I am so proud of him. He has been easing me out of the kitchen since he was in grade school!


Congrats to my favorite step-brother! You deserve it.

Tristan T.
Tristan T.

Not only is Rob Michaels a stand-up dude, his vertical jump is absolutely unparalleled in the culinary world.


It's True T-Dog, I've seen that dude jump over the counter, he is like the chinese Blake Griffin with a knive.

Congrats Rob!!

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