Exclusive: Brian Laird opening Sarto's, a restaurant and pantry, this fall in Jefferson Park

Lori Midson
Chef Brian Laird will open Sarto's and Sarto's Pantry in Jefferson Park this fall.

For months, Brian Laird has been plotting under the radar, slowly and methodically working on lease negotiations for a new restaurant in Jefferson Park, and finally, just last week, Laird and his business partners, Taylor Swallow and Kajsa Gotlin, inked a deal on a century-old corner space at 2900 West 25th Avenue.

See also:
- After thirteen years, Brian Laird breaks up with Barolo Grill
- Chef and Tell with Brian Laird of Barolo Grill
- Part two: Chef and Tell with Brian Laird of Barolo Grill

The deal has been a long-time cooking for Laird, who spent thirteen years behind the burners at Barolo Grill, exiting that kitchen in early 2011, and then cooked at various other restaurants, including the now-closed Russo's Kitchen + Tavern as well as Sketch, where Laird had returned to his Italian roots, turning out superb housemade pastas.

Sarto's, his new 4,000-square-foot restaurant, which also trumpets a market, deli and pantry, is Italian in scope (the name means "tailor" in Italian), and indicative, says Laird, of what he's wanted to do all along: "a Northern Italian restaurant that's welcoming, friendly and affordable with a lightened, contemporary, localized and refined focus."

The 85-seat restaurant, which boast two patios, is slated to open in early fall, and when it does, guests can expect a multitude of surprises and innovative elements: Laird will build a cicchetti -- Italian for "tapas" -- eight-seat bar, where he'll serve a ever-changing roster of hand-sliced meats from a candy-apple red slicer, charcuterie, cheeses, raw oysters on the half-shell, crostinis and whatever else he feels like dispensing. No two days, he says, will be the same in terms of what's available.

Much of what comprises his dinner menu will emerge from a wood-fired oven tucked into a prominent corner of the partially open kitchen. "That's the showpiece," declares Laird, and his plan, he adds, is to grill vegetables, meats, fish, breads, pizzas and even salads in that oven, stroked by oak and various other flavor-imparting woods. Pastas, of course, will be a huge part of the of the lineup, too, and roving, dim sum-style carts, strewn with small plates, antipasti, wheels of cheeses and risottos will maneuver their way through the dining room, and guests will get "tick-off" sheets to mark what they'd like to order. An antiqued after-dinner drink cart will roam through the dining room, as well.

Location Info


2900 W. 25th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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This could be a great restaurant, but I will never support anyplace that offers foie gras. I am a carnivore, but unlike the illustrious chef, I don't feel the need to torture creatures before they're eaten.


Curious, is there any space in that building left? I ask because the listing (which ran forever) talked about 5971 Sq feet total. Is there maybe another ~2000K sq ft that Brian didn't take? Would be nice for something complementary like say a nanobrewery...


Welcome back, Brian.  Talents needs to be in the game, not the sidelines.  


Love this! Downtown and surrounding area need a good Italian spot! 


You had me at "roving, dim sum-style carts, strewn with small plates, antipasti, wheels of cheeses and risottos."  Can't wait to eat Laird's food again.


Great story and exciting news for Jefferson Park. But how about we move on from referencing LoHI and "The New Highland." This neighborhood is called Jefferson Park. Lets be ORIGINAL and call it Jefferson Park. Maybe for once, gentrification can honor the culture of the neighborhood while creating space for creativity.


"Sarto's, his new 4,000-square-foot restaurant, which also trumpets a market, deli and pantry, is Italian in scope (the name means "table" in Italian)..."

"Sarto" is Italian for "tailor", so the name of this restaurant will be "Tailor's" in English.  "Table" in Italian is "tavalo".


This sounds awesome and Brian Laird is an amazing chef! Can't wait to try it this fall...

davebarnes topcommenter

Jefferson - it's the next Highland!

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

@foodcrazy I was just about to say the same thing.  Tavolo is table in Italian - Sarto is tailor or dressmaker.  Regardless of the name I've missed Laird's cooking since he left Barolo and I'm looking forward to his new venture.

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