Michael Sturdevant — the charismatic Brit who was once the chief baker on the RMS Queen Mary and the QE2; ran restaurants in California and New Mexico and a Breadheads locally; bought Woodland Park's The Donut Mill five years ago; and who runs the Colorado Bread Company wholesale outfit in south downtown — plans to have Bunz Bakery and Burger Bar open by early June in the former Diggy's Diner and Rosie's Diner space at 11550 Ridgeline Drive (481-0555).
Bunz, as it's envisioned, will create a retail market front for baked goods — everything from donuts to breads to wedding cakes — that will now be produced at this site (effectively absorbing CBC's operations). And the Burger Bar arm will act as an eclectic, full-service, all-meals restaurant.
The Donut Mill's famous biscuits and gravy, plus other classic American staples like whole-grain pancakes, will star in the morning hours. Then an English pub menu with the likes of shepherd's, beef and stout pies will come on for lunch and dinner next to a rather interesting build-your-own burger menu. Sturdevant says to expect 14 different meat choices, from salmon and trout to buffalo, yak and elk, followed by 18 cheese options, 24 bun choices, and 32 sauces such as barbecues and aiolis, plus topping options like a fried egg or pulled pork.
And where it gets even weirder, for the better: "We want a farm-to-table atmosphere," he says, citing the planned usage of as much grass-fed beef as possible (considering availability with the drought), and otherwise hormone- and antibiotic-free meat from regional growers. None of the breads or sauces will have preservatives, he says, and he'll try to source as much local as possible, including from his own planned herb garden on site.
This inspiration comes from his wife, who has a Ph.D. in natural health and is "forcing me all the time to change my habits ... you can't take burgers away from people, so something we want to do is try to make them healthier."
That said, a variety of milkshakes will also be sold, and a liquor license is in the works for beer and wine.
À la carte
• Paravicini's Italian Bistro (2802 W. Colorado Ave., paravicinis.com), which just celebrated its 10th anniversary and the completion of a patio overhaul, recently formalized a gluten-free menu by customer request. Among the 20 GF items: house pasta presentations subbing sun-dried tomato fettuccine from Denver's Pappardelle Pasta, and meat and seafood entrées that sub in polenta and risotto.
• Chopsticks Asian Bistro (120 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.), first given a strong review by the Indy in fall 2003, closed for business recently, citing weak sales since the recession.