An exclusive first look of the new Squeaky Bean, opening Monday
"I'm a perfectionist, and I have high expectations," admits MacKissock, who credits his staff for pumping creativity into his veins. "My team is really special," he adds, pointing to his sous chef, Blake Edmunds, an alum of Fruition, who MacKissock insists will one day become "one of the best executive chefs in Denver, hands down." MacKissock also gives shout-outs to his other sous chef, Josh Bitz, a guy who MacKissock calls his "right-hand man who anticipates my every need."
MacKissock recently hired Darren Pusateri, formerly of the Den Corner Restaurant Group (Sushi Den, Izakaka Den) as a line cook, and Josh Olsen, who oversees Squeaky Acre, the Bean's ten-acre farm in Lakewood, is his kitchen manager. "Darren is awesome and can kill a station every single day, and Josh is our puppeteer and the hardest-working guy I've ever met in my life," says MacKissock.
"We just want to expose people to different types of fun in really fun ways," stresses MacKissock. "We want to be the restaurant that doesn't follow the rules, and because we don't have boundaries, we can do that. We want what everyone else doesn't have."
I had the opportunity to stalk the new Squeaky Bean yesterday afternoon, and it was awesome to see MacKissock in his new kitchen, which has everything the old Bean kitchen didn't, including a French top. "I'm pretty happy that we have air conditioning, but my favorite piece of equipment is definitely my French top. I've always loved this classic, classic piece of equipment. It's incredibly useful, although I gotta say that I'm having fun playing around with all my new stuff," he says.
The Bean will roll out cocktail hour in a few weeks, a program spearheaded by Sean Kenyon, who also tends bar at Williams & Graham, and by mid-July, the kitchen will add Saturday and Sunday brunch. "The cocktail program is unlike anything Sean has ever done -- it's going to blow people away," says MacKissock.
In the same way, I imagine, that the space -- and MacKissock's food -- blew me away last night. Herewith, the photos of the new Squeaky Bean.