Since 2017 I’ve been following the multi-million dollar development project on the corner of Chestnut and 20th with a great deal of curiosity. This was mainly due to the fact that the build of the new Hilton Garden Inn Union Station needed to incorporate the small land-marked brick building that existed on the plot. I was even more excited to find out that the historic building, which once housed one of Denver’s earliest fire stations, would be fully rehabbed and converted into a restaurant.
The result is Woodie Fisher, a beautiful new bar and dining space attached to the hotel. The restaurant is named after a storied Denver fire foreman — Redwood “Woodie” Fisher — who was killed in 1870 when he attempted to stop a runway team of horses on 14th and California.
Design elements also pay homage to the history, such as the fire hose chandelier in the back dining room and the eatery’s playful Dalmatian fire dog logo.
While the restaurant has been open since May, it already has had some major change ups, with the newly installed executive chef Franco Ruiz joining in June. With his revised Euro-American concept, Chef Ruiz pays reverence to the seasonal, sustainable food philosophy that guided his six years as the chef de cuisine at Alex Seidel’s Fruition. However, Woodie Fisher guests can expect Chef Ruiz’s menus to stick around slightly longer than a traditional farm to table restaurant, with items being swapped along with the four major seasons.
The appetizers and light fare plates on the menu are appealing, in particular, the High Plains Wagyu Tartare, a compact patty spread with pickled mustard seeds and served with a side of crispy chips ($12) and the Porchetta di Testa plate, which comes with a heap of arugula and grated Parmesan over the thinly sliced meat ($12).
However, I personally found the entrees more interesting, with the Culotte steak my favorite of the night, served with an intricately cut Hasselback baked potato ($27).
A crowd favorite was the Smoked Pork Short Rib — with tender meat coated with a white bread and chicharron crumble and served with a side of cheesy cheddar grits ($26).
Currently Woodie Fisher is open 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday – Thursday; 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday – Saturday
Woodie Fisher, 1999 Chestnut Place, Denver, CO 80202, (720) 643-1909
Please note: Financial compensation was not received for this post. I was invited by the PR firm working with Woodie Fisher to a media event where we sampled items off the dinner menu. Opinions expressed here are my own.