Vegans “party” at new Arvada restaurant

School House owner opens So Radish in Olde Town

Posted 5/24/19

As he prepared to open a fifth business in Arvada, Scott Spears set his sights on trying something new. Having been an on-and-off vegan for years, Spears decided to create a restaurant that primarily …

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Vegans “party” at new Arvada restaurant

School House owner opens So Radish in Olde Town

Posted

As he prepared to open a fifth business in Arvada, Scott Spears set his sights on trying something new.

Having been an on-and-off vegan for years, Spears decided to create a restaurant that primarily served vegan meals — but he was determined to make it completely different than similar restaurants.

“A lot of vegan places, they have flowers on the table and they feel very natural,” he said. “This is a place where vegans can be normal and party.”

Spears, who owns School House Kitchen and the Scrumptious ice cream shop, opened his newest restaurant, So Radish, on April 25. Located at 5711 Olde Wadsworth Blvd., the restaurant is a family operation, he said.

“My wife and I own it, my mom owns the building, my dad helps out,” he said. “It's all taken a couple years.”

Spears said his employees spent around nine months developing items for the menu, comprised entirely of vegan meals. The selection includes black bean burgers, mushroom cheese steaks and cauliflower tacos, as well as a number of vegan beverages.

“Our cocktails are ludicrously good,” he said, “and we always have four to five kombuchas on tap.”

General manager Audrey Potter led the development of the menu, drawing on more than a decade of cooking vegan meals at home for her own gluten- and dairy-free diet and her husband's vegetarian diet.

"Having that background, I knew the tricks for how to accomplish things without using dairy," she said. "A lot of it was a matter of what I would want to eat at home and what I would put on it."

Customers can also add meat to any meal on the menu or order their meal gluten-free.

“I'm really excited to have a health-conscious restaurant that caters to people with food sensitivities,” said Golden resident Sare Merrigan, who visited the restaurant for the first time with her friend, Tiffany Montgomery.

“I've been wanting to come here for like a month,” Merrigan said.

Spears said he wanted to open So Radish because he felt there were few other options where vegans could eat a meal out in Arvada.

“It's just missing here,” he said. “We wanted to make a place where everyone can come and eat.”

"It's legitimately good food. We didn't want to settle," Potter said. "I wanted the whole menu to be things people would get excited about."

In addition to the detailed vegan menu, customers said they appreciated the `80s-inspired atmosphere of the restaurant.

“It's very colorful,” Montgomery said. “It's different and unique.”

Spears designed the interior of the restaurant with a “rad-ish” vibe in mind, he said. Hoping to make the restaurant stand out from others in Olde Town, he installed neon lights, hired artists to cover the walls in street art and created a “hole in the wall” through which customers order their food, he said.

The staff also encourages customers to access a digital menu on their cell phones to save paper.

“We maybe did too many weird things here,” Spears joked.

With the restaurant up and running, he invited anyone in the community to drop by.

“You can bring your family who isn't vegan and have them enjoy everything, too,” Spears said. “This is 100 percent the place for you to go to.”

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