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Shrimp_cocktail,_anchovies_with_butter,_oysters.jpeg Theo Stroomer

Chef Caroline Glover of Annette in Colorado launches new concept: Traveling Mercies

After six years running an award-winning restaurant in the Denver suburb of Aurora, the operator has introduced a more intimate venue

Caroline Glover didn't look far when picking a spot to open Traveling Mercies, her second concept. In fact, the award-winning chef chose a venue on the upper level of the same market hall that Annette resides in.

"Honestly, we had a been looking for a space for some time, specifically for Dan and Matt to spread their wings," said Glover, referencing her long-time beverage team Dan Seibel and Matt Bazcor. "This spot at Stanley Marketplace came up this past summer, and like most things we talked about it forever, but it kind of felt right."

Glover hadn't planned on opening her second concept so close to her first, but quickly the ease of having two places so close became apparent. She added, "for me, being a hands-on person, the thought of having two spots across town from each other didn't feel super doable."

After months of planning, Traveling Mercies opened on Dec. 22 in a spot formally housing a boutique bar, located on the second floor of the marketplace. Glover kept the design of the 600-square-foot space intact and intimate, but brightened it up with terracotta, off-white, and royal blue hues. The best part about the cozy space comes thanks to the unparalleled west-facing view of the Rocky Mountains.

The name Traveling Mercies speaks to her own family, in particular the salutation her mother gave when the family returned from traveling. But while for Glover it embodies well wishes after a voyage, for her husband and co-owner Nelson Harvey, the name also speaks to the idea that everyone is granted mercies on whatever trip they are on. Both sentiments, she said, work for their concept, and in a way, for her personal life journey too.

"I was just getting my feet back under me, so what better time to open a new spot?" joked Glover, who had her first child this year. "I feel like a zombie if I don't feel like I'm pulled in a million directions."

Although Glover, who took home the 2022 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chefs Award for Best Chef in the mountain states, likes to be busy, Traveling Mercies feels calm and restful. The chef plans on keeping the menu simple, well-balanced and delightful, just like the space. The current offerings include just six items: Fresh coastal oysters, shrimp cocktail, Glover's signature Old Bay seasoned crackers, wedge salad, oeuf tonnato (eggs with tuna sauce and anchovies), and anchovies with a baguette and butter. There's also a dessert option, which comes in the form of a seasonal rice pudding, starting out with a hazelnut and rum rendition. Prices range from $9 to $17, with oysters at market rate.

The drink menu is almost as elegantly sparse, perfect for a pre- or post-dinner tipple. Bazcor, the bar manager who spent the past three years at Annette, has a penchant for rum and uses the spirit in a variety of cocktails, each for $16. The Traveling Mercies Martini pays homage to Glover's stepfather and has a slightly lower alcohol level than a traditional Martini thanks to the combination of Kyro Finnish gin, Manzanilla sherry, tarragon absinthe and preserved lemon olive oil. The Talk to Me, Goose! features Chairman's Reserve Original rum, Hamilton Jamaican black rum, Bounty 151 rum, bay leaf falernum, grapefruit and cinnamon. Ultimately Glover and her team plan to offer around eight cocktails as well as beer and an intricate zero-proof drink menu. On the wine side, the solid list showcases coastal bright whites and acidic wines to pair swimmingly with seafood.

As for whether or not opening a new place right above her first spot will take customers away, Glover doesn't think there will be an impact.

"At first I was worried that we were dipping into the guest space, but Traveling Mercies is a place you can go on your own," said Glover. "Or think of it as a precursor at Annette, or even after to keep the evening going."

Since Traveling Mercies is right next door, vertically speaking, it's easy to see how customers could make a night of Glover's food skills and talented staff without having to find parking twice.

Correction: January 03, 2024
The misspelling of Caroline Glover's name has been corrected.
TAGS: Chefs
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