Just BE Kitchen Serves Up Caveman Comfort Food with Kindness
Along the South Platte River sits Just BE Kitchen, a fast-casual restaurant that nourishes Denver with Paleo and allergen-free takes on classic comfort food. Every item on their meaty menu is 100% free of gluten, grains and refined sugars, and 99% free of dairy. Just BE is the only Colorado eatery that offers a Whole30 Program-approved menu (based on the popular elimination diet) and the only 100% Paleo kitchen in Denver. And they are one of the very few 100% gluten-free restaurants in the Mile High City.
This means a menu filled with better-for-you biscuits, grass-fed burgers, chicken and dumplings, bone broths—they even have a bone broth bar—and other healthy but satisfying dishes featuring local ingredients. Even their beer and liquor is gluten- and grain-free. Just BE Kitchen’s head chef Chase Elliot infuses the menu with Southern cuisine from his childhood in North Carolina and his time cooking in kitchens there.
The restaurant’s shabby-chic decor and inspirational quotes adorning the walls contribute to an inviting, comfortable environment. “I wanted the space to be about connection and belonging, so we marry the food with a series of wellness events each week at the site and offer uplifting quotes on the wall,” says owner Jennifer Peters, who opened Just Be in April 2017. “We just want people to feel nourished and cared for and have a sense of BElonging.”
Customers find the food, the space and the events welcoming. Because Just BE accommodates different allergen-free diets, customers don’t have to worry cross-contamination or finding something to order on the menu.
“We have people in tears in our restaurant because they’re just so happy that they can eat something they haven’t had in decades, like biscuits and gravy,” Chase says.
Just BE Kitchen shares FoodMaven’s ethos of “all food used… with good purpose” and supporting local growers and ranchers. “The biggest bane of any restaurant is waste,” Chase says. “It’s important for us to work with a distributor that uses every part of the animal or the vegetable because we try to do the exact same thing.”
Chase likes how FoodMaven makes it easy to source local foods and get them delivered quickly. He often builds menu items and specials for happy hour around what he discovers on our Marketplace.
In the summer of 2018, Chase sourced hail-damaged onions through FoodMaven that helped Frost Farm in Fountain after they lost most of their crop in a storm. This support of local led to Just Ee winning FoodMaven’s 2018 Impact Award, “Friend to the Farmers” for being the Colorado restaurant that spent the most on sourcing food from local producers. “I think it’s extremely important to support the local farmers and ranchers because they deserve to have their food treated with respect, which we always do,” adds Chase.