Rooftop greenhouse sets Arvada restaurant apart

At Lot One, produce is `as fresh as it gets'

Casey Van Divier
cvandivier@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 7/13/20

When residents Jaime Miles and Josh Timon opened their first restaurant, the plan was to source their produce as locally as possible — right from the rooftop. On restaurant Lot One's opening day, …

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Rooftop greenhouse sets Arvada restaurant apart

At Lot One, produce is `as fresh as it gets'

Posted

When residents Jaime Miles and Josh Timon opened their first restaurant, the plan was to source their produce as locally as possible — right from the rooftop.

On restaurant Lot One's opening day, July 9, 2019, the restaurant's so-called “Roof to Table” operation — growing produce for the restaurant in a greenhouse rooftop — was just a concept. The business-owners had yet to build the greenhouse on top of the building, begin the growing process and find a way to keep their business open during a then-unforeseen pandemic.

But on July 9, 2020, Roof to Table wasn't just a plan anymore; on the restaurant's first anniversary, Timon found himself giving a tour of the rooftop greenhouse to four customers, explaining everything from climate-controlling the greenhouse to sourcing unconventional herbs and greens.

“People want to know where their food is coming from,” he said. “At Lot One, we produce a fresher product. It doesn't sit in a warehouse.”

And he added that the greenhouse is about more than how Lot One's food tastes — it is the restaurant's story.

Located at 13730 W. 85th Dr., Lot One boasts of popular sandwiches, a flavor profile drawing from across the globe and its Roof to Table efforts.

As of July 9, the greenhouse was not yet at full capacity, Timon said, with the business-owners planning to further fill the greenhouse and expand growing efforts to other parts of the roof.

Timon estimated the plants grown in the greenhouse — which includes a long list of vegetables and herbs, from cherry tomatoes to lettuce to Swiss chard — accounts for about 20-25% of the produce used in Lot One's dishes and some of its cocktails. Eventually, the business owners hope to grow enough produce to donate to community organizations, as well.

The greenhouse operates year-round, with the types of ingredients available to the kitchen rotating throughout the months, said executive chef Ray Clinton.

“It's fun because we get to play with a lot of things you don't normally see,” Clinton said. “With the food trends now, people are getting away from mass-produced food, and this is as fresh as it gets.”

For Arvada residents Lyle and Beth Williams, “the food is what brings you back” to Lot One, Lyle said. But it's many components of the restaurant that have made it a favorite spot for the couple, with both the restaurant's ambience and greenhouse included on that list.

The couple toured the greenhouse on July 9 with Les and Keri Williams, family members visiting from Tennessee.

“The idea of fresh from the roof, that's an appeal to everyone,” Les said. “And the business's philosophy of wanting to give back to the community is heartwarming.”

This summer, despite health regulations related to the pandemic, the restaurant is now able to operate at 100% of its usual capacity after working with the city and the nearby homeowners' association, Village of Five Parks Master HOA, to set up a tent and other outdoor seating right outside its space.

And it's a good thing, too, Timon said — because even as the pandemic continues, the restaurant has needed all the seating it can get.

“Last night, it was packed here,” he said. “The Arvada community has truly supported us. We were able to survive because of them.”

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