Uncle responded to customer feedback before it opened -- that's using the old noodle!

Tommy Lee during a rare quiet moment at Uncle.
If somebody asked you what restaurateurs do for a living, you'd probably say "feed people." And you'd be right. Sort of. What they really do is please people, because if people aren't happy, sooner or later they won't show up to be fed. This is why restaurants, new ones in particular, tinker so much with menus. They're trying to find out just what people want when they walk through their door -- as opposed to their competitor's

Usually this learning process happens over time, as kitchens analyze what does and doesn't sell. (The evolution of Madison Street into TAG Burger Bar, which I reviewed last month, is a perfect example.) But at Uncle, the hip noodle shop in Highland, customer feedback came loud, clear and early.

See also:
- Troy Guard's latest gives people what they want: fun on a bun
- Madison Street becomes TAG Burger Bar
- First look: Uncle opens this week in Highland

So early, in fact, the restaurant hadn't even opened.

"In the middle of construction, customers would keep stopping by to check out what kind of place was opening," recalls chef/owner Tommy Lee. "When I told them a noodle bar, they would ask if I was doing ramen."

The crazy thing is, he wasn't. "I never planned on doing ramen because I'd read about it enough and knew how difficult it was," he says. But when the restaurant opened last August, Lee had ramen on the menu.

Smart man, because the heaping bowls of tangled, brothy noodles seem to be just what the neighborhood wanted. Find out if they're for you, too, when my review is posted here tomorrow.

Location Info

TAG Burger Bar

1222 Madison St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant


2215 W. 32nd Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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Uncle is such a great addition to LoHi.  I gotta say that the spicy chicken ramen is one of the best dishes I've ever had.  I hope they start listening to their customers again and open for lunch!

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

@david.m.roth I totally agree.  This is the type of food that I want for lunch much more so than at dinner.  But, the lack of good restaurants that open for lunch is a pet peeve of mine with the Denver dining scene.  I suspect we (the public) are partly to blame because we don't won't to spend more than $10 or take the time to really support lunch service in upscale places.

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