Olive & Finch owner opens new Little Finch cafe along 16th Street Mall

Olive & Finch is having a little sister.

Chef Mary Nguyen, owner of the casual restaurant and bakery with two locations, is preparing to open an all-day take-out cafe called Little Finch at 1490 16th Street Mall in LoDo this winter.

“The inspiration for this comes from the all-day bistros that are the heart of European culture,” Nguyen said. “I want to offer something affordable and easily accessible, but still led by a chef.”

Nguyen opened Olive & Finch’s first location at 1552 E. 17th Ave. in Uptown in 2013 and added another in Cherry Creek in 2017. She also operates a wholesale bakery and kitchen called Olive & Finch On The Fly at 4609 E. Colfax Ave. South Park Hill.

Little Finch will offer take-out food, such as salads, sandwiches and snack boxes, as well as pastries and coffee in the morning and cocktails in the evening. There will also be a retail section with products from local vendors such as jams, soups and pickles.

Little Finch is expected to open in early winter this year. (Render provided by Xan Creative)

“I really think there’s so much change right now at 16th Street Mall and downtown, and I know that when I go down to this neighborhood, there aren’t a lot of quick and easy places that are always chef-led and affordable,” Nguyen said. “I’ve always wanted to go to a place like Little Finch when I’m in a meeting or on a break. There aren’t a lot of options downtown , just fast food or fine dining.

Nguyen rented the 2,500 square foot space in February. It previously housed a Starbucks which closed in 2020. She emptied the space and hopes to open in early winter this year with hours from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Nguyen, a 47-year-old Denver native, started Olive & Finch as a passion project. She owned two other restaurants before: Parallel Seventeen and Street Kitchen.

“10 years ago, the dining scene in Denver was all about fine dining,” Nguyen said. “A casual chef-led restaurant was something I wanted as a consumer, and our guests really resonated with that. The first day we opened, we had a line at the door, and the lines didn’t not stopped since.”

Olive & Finch wholesales its packaged meals to various businesses in the city, including Rose Medical Center, Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, and Platte Street Mercantile.

Nguyen said she was always looking for more locations for Olive & Finch and now Little Finch and looking at the Denver Tech Center and downtown Denver.

This story was reported by our partner BusinessDen.

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