Bookbinding in Denver dates back to the 1870s when Emil Bruderlin worked for the Rocky Mountain News Printing Company before starting his own bookbinding business. Most notably is the Denver Bookbinding Company, a multiple generation family bindery, established in 1929, whose founder was a master bookbinder who apprenticed in the King’s court in Denmark.
To this day, that is the company that has bound every single issue that OUT FRONT has ever published and which will forever be archived at the Denver Public Library.
Linda Hampsten Fox, purveyor of one of Denver’s hippest new eateries, sat down with OUT FRONT and recounted how the Lower Highlands used to be a bustling bookbinding district, which ultimately served as the inspiration for fulfilling her life’s dream of building her own restaurant, now named The Bindery.
Elegant dining meets urban marketplace and offers worldly fare inspired by Hampsten Fox’s travels. The restaurant’s sleek and open-concept is quite impressive with 18-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows which overlook downtown.
Behind the contemporary painted walls, open ceiling and tiled floors, Hamptsten Fox contributed to the LoHi neighborhood’s new designation as a “Sustainable Neighborhood.” By investing in sustainable technology, Hampsten Fox will continue to save money for her business year after year.
“With every building decision made, we asked ourselves, is there an opportunity to be sustainable?” Hampsten Fox touted. “From the windows and HVAC to the plumbing and kitchen appliances, we made sure to honor our commitment to sustainability, and in most cases went above and beyond the new energy codes set by the city of Denver.”
From a quick-stop bakery and pastry shop to a sit down five-course dinner, The Bindery in Denver lower Highlands is as satisfying as settling down with a good book.
Here are a few of the new innovations The Bindery has embraced:
- Geothermal radiant heat on the perimeter of the restaurant via an earth thermal storage bed.
- Moroccan Tadelakt plaster, which absorbs CO2, resists mold, is biodegradable and is 100% natural and lime-based.
- Recycled vinyl serves as the back of house floors, which relieves worker fatigue and decreases china and glassware breakage.
- High performance acoustical ceiling panels made from recycled cotton.
- Energy Star-rated kitchen appliances and equipment
Hampsten Fox spent years as a private chef to high-profile clients like Dave Matthews, Nancy Pelosi, and Jane Goodall, and she recently served singer-songwriter and LGBTQ activist Melissa Etheridge.
From hosting culinary tours at a small farm in Tuscany, to opening a cooking school in Mexico, Hampsten Fox returned to her alma mater state to design, build, open, and operate The Bindery.
The Bindery serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner for dining-in or taking-out.
Describing the atmosphere and aesthetic of the restaurant is one thing.
“The menu is difficult to describe. It’s a culmination of my life’s work,” Hampsten Fox explained. “The passion we have for the craft of cooking sustainable, locally sourced products is what makes every day so enjoyable.”
Many of the dishes are unlike anything you’ve ever seen or tasted. Truly, out of this world. A few plates that come highly recommended are:
The Secret Garden ($14) pumpkin pâté, beet pastrami, maple carrot jerky, pea hummus, breakfast radishes
Smoked Rabbit Pecan Pie ($11) mustard gelato
Boulder Hen & Smoked Hen of the Woods ($28) whole spatchcocked bird, hibiscus, beet root, grilled maitake
Strawberry Semifreddo ($11) kataifi nest, yuzu curd, sugar roasted pistacio
Binding every delicious bite to a memorable experience, The Bindery is widely praised and cherished, just like a classic novel.
The Bindery is located at 1817 Central St., Denver, CO 80211 For more info, call 303-993-2364 or visit thebinderydenver.com.