This review is a collaborative effort of the PJ Hoberman, Ginger Pelz, and Jim Halligan powerhouse-diner-trio.
It’s 2am. You’ve left the bar willingly after that last necessary shot. And you’re hungry. Really hungry. For bacon. Bacon! And a water. So much water. And mac n’ cheese with green chili and carnitas. In my face! All of this! Now! Rawr!
But! You’re downtown. Illegal Pete’s might be open for a little longer. Marquis has some slices. But feet. Oh feet, so painful. Cab to a greasy spoon on Colfax? No. You’re tired. Must sit down. And friends! Let’s make new friends!
Until today, your options for such plans were pretty limited. Tom’s Urban 24, which opened today at 5 AM at the corner of 15th and Larimer (formerly the long-vacant Samba Room at 1460 Larimer St.), is the late night superhero you didn’t know you needed.
Upon entering Tom’s doors, all your late-night snack cravings will be sated. And then some. And breakfast. And lunch. Dinner, too. You could conceivably drink here till 2am, eat and drink coffee until 9am, and then go back to a bloody mary. Not that I advise this particular strategy. . .
Unlike your standard all-night diner, Tom’s takes it up a notch. The bar, with a creative cocktail menu engineered by Ken Kodys, offers up interesting libations, solid craft beers, and probably some wine, too. Definitely some wine. There’s wine in the WTF? cocktail. The food? Ridiculous. Meatloaf. Fork and knife sandwiches. Steak. Eggs. And that’s all one dish, you need to wash that shit down!
Ranging from a garden of mint-in-your-face in Tom’s spin on the classic swizzle, to breakfast in a glass – espresso dumped into Guinness, the bar delivers some crafty stuff including the barrel aged cocktail nectar that Kodys has made a standard around town. Don’t forget about the bloodys. Spiced wonderfully – but think more “horseradish” and less “peppery flames of certain indigestion and heartburn” which makes them perfect for slamming some big-time meat and buttery pancakes. And if you are feeling like a loose cannon, there is the WTF? cocktail we mentioned. Whiskey, wine, beer, OJ in a glass. Yeah, WTF, how is this so delicious?
And then there’s the owner, Tom Ryan. You know those Dos Equis ads with the Most Interesting Man in the World? Tom really is something like that when it comes to his food. Stuffed crust pizza? He invented that. McGriddle? That was him, too. He has inspired a generation of eaters. The Cinna-saus-wich would have never been contrived without his work.
The place is huge. The 200+ capacity is perfect for the busy Friday night’s Denver is known for. The decor is fun, bright, and comfortable. A massive piece of art. . .err. . . a map. . . err . . . a magnet wall displays where in Colorado all of Tom’s ingredients are sourced from.
They have a side door that’s open for breakfast and to go orders – like homemade pop tarts and some espresso.
The doors opened today at 5 AM, and they never close again (ideally, hopefully). See you there.