Recap: Uchi Denver (2024 Restaurant Series)

About the tour: Uchi was founded in 2003 by James Beard Award winning Chef Tyson Cole in Austin, Texas. The Japanese-inspired sushi bar put the capital city on the map for creative, inspired dining and set a standard for “unreasonable hospitality.” The restaurant considers its cuisine non-traditional Japanese. They offer sushi, composed small-plate dishes, and multiple omakase experiences. What started in a refurbished 1920s bungalow in South Austin, Uchi is now found in 7 cities with plans to expand into more markets in the future. Uchi’s hallmark qualities lie in both food and service. Their goal is to deliver a dynamic dining experience with an approachable vibe. Uchi is Japanese for “house,” but Cole aimed to make it a home—a place where every seat in the dining room was as fun and intimate as a spot at the sushi bar. Uchi Denver opened in 2018 and was the first location opened outside of Texas.

About the building: When the James Beard Award-winning Japanese restaurant Uchi came calling in Denver, Tres Birds was selected to provide full service sustainable architecture, general contracting, and interior design. Housed in S*Park, the full square block mixed-use living and urban agriculture development designed by tbw, the Austin-based restaurant group looked to the space’s creator to provide an elevated aesthetic for the chic restaurant.

Using Tres Birds’ experience in Japan (with completed projects in Tokyo and Osaka) as a foundation, the firm was able to bring Japanese sensibilities to the table while incorporating that which makes Denver unique. Native lumber and reclaimed materials were used throughout the restaurant, like the massive Douglas fir door that’s accented with utilitarian steel.

About the tour guides: Michael M. Moore is the principal of Tres Birds, the innovative Denver architecture firm that has risen to prominence since he founded it in 2000. Known as a visionary who seamlessly integrates architecture and art with environmentally-sound methods, Moore’s transformative work exemplifies his belief that architecture can create a better world.

Moore and his firm’s multidisciplinary design approach can be found in more than 100 projects ranging from mixed-use developments and corporate headquarters to net-zero energy homes and museums across the U.S. and internationally.

Mike was joined by Parker Featherston, the General Manager of Uchi Denver.

Photo from Tres Birds.