Westmoor Technology Park, located just north of Denver in the suburb of Westminster, hosts multiple smaller businesses as tenants with a total onsite population of around 1,500. Until recently, however, the only immediate dining option on the premises was a small traditional deli with a limited amount of choices.
On Feb. 14, Eurest Dining Services, a unit of Compass Group North America, delivered an especially sweet valentine to Westmoor tenants as well as individuals in nearby businesses and residences: A newly developed “dual-concept” dining destination called Graze & Gather that, as the name implies, “is not only a place where you’re going to graze and eat, but also an appealing place to gather,” explains Eurest Senior Vice President Ron Serluco. “We wanted to make sure that there was just as much focus on the gathering piece as there was on the grazing.”
That approach is a response to current trends in business environments, he says.
“Traditionally, when people are at work in very large spaces, there are a lot of beautiful spaces where organizations have created these student union environments where people can come and interact. However, it’s a little more challenging when you go down to the office and technology park environment with multiple buildings, a smaller profile and not as many people, so this was a solution that would usually [be seen] in those larger facilities.”
With seating for 46 (more when a patio area becomes available with warmer weather), Graze & Gather offers a diverse menu with plenty of choices.
The all-day breakfast menu includes customizable burritos and morning sandwiches with ingredient options like applewood smoked bacon, pork sausage, Black Forest ham, chorizo, spinach and mushrooms. Bread selections include a buttery croissant, English muffin, ciabatta or brioche.
The lunch menu, served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, features comforting soups and Colorado chili. The hearty salads range from the Western Slope (grilled asparagus, crispy Brussels sprouts, heirloom grape tomatoes and feta cheese with a lemon-thyme balsamic vinaigrette) to a classic Caesar topped with grilled flank steak while hot and cold sandwiches include a Buffalo cauliflower wrap, an Italian hoagie and a Denver roast beef. There’s also a pick-two special that includes a choice of two of the following: a half sandwich, cup of soup or half salad.
The grill area boasts the signature G&G Angus burger topped with aged cheddar and applewood smoked bacon while the pizza station has Neapolitan personal pies. All the food is cooked to order.
The beverage options include a variety of coffee and tea drinks centered around a Starbucks We Proudly Serve platform, and there are also packaged snacks and grab-and-go sandwiches and salads for quick takeout.
Serluco says the menu will evolve with the seasons and as the staff gets a better feel for customer preferences, with LTO offerings used to gauge interest in various dishes and cuisines. One constant will be an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients where feasible, he stresses.
One particular customer-friendly feature of Graze & Gather is a preorder option via the Thrive app or the order-and-pay kiosks inside the venue, a convenience that promises to help build sales and participation according to industry surveys.
“For convenience, especially in a venue like this where people aren’t all in the same building, it just saves a lot of time,” Serluco offers.
Graze & Gather also offers catering services to the Westmoor tenants and the space is available to rent out for gatherings during the hours it is closed.
The 2,650-square-foot space created by the Denver-based TPS.design firm has a modern interior peppered with playful touches like coffee menu boards with letter tiles. White Eames-esque chairs are complemented by warm wood tones and a sprinkling of lush green plants, while the seating options also include wood-topped high tables, small round tables and banquettes. The strategically placed industrial-style light fixtures are designed to provide just the right amount of light for catching up on reading while still allowing for easy computer viewing, which is abetted by an abundance of electrical outlets as well as free WiFi.
The venue debuted on Valentine’s Day with a grand opening celebration that included a balloon wall of surprises giving guests a chance at complimentary coffee, smoothies, locally produced retail snacks such as BoBo’s Bar and Boulder Canyon Chips and housemade desserts. There was also a grand prize of lunch for eight, as well as Valentine’s Day giveaways. About 150 guests came through the space to join in the inaugural celebration.
Graze & Gather is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the prepared food menu available until 2 p.m. while the Starbucks beverages and grab-and-go options are available throughout the operating hours.
The Graze & Gather at Westmoor isn’t meant to be a one-shot deal, Serluco notes.
“This is a concept that we would like to replicate in other spaces,” he says. “As the size of places where people go to work continue to get smaller, we have to come up with unique solutions, so we’ll have to look at a lot of different things and this might be one we’ll want to look at.”