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


Olive & Finch is getting a little sister.

Chef Mary Nguyen, owner of the two-location casual eatery and bakery, is gearing up to open an all-day grab-and-go 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 heartbeat of European culture,” Nguyen said. “I want to offer something affordable and accessible, but still cook-centric.”

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

Little Finch offers grab-and-go meals like 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 area with goods from local suppliers such as jams, soups and pickles.

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

“I really think there’s so much changing right now at the 16th Street Mall and downtown, and I know when I go to this area there aren’t many places that are quick and easy and still chef-driven and affordable,” Nguyen said. “I’ve always wanted to go somewhere like Little Finch when I’m walking into a meeting or on break. There aren’t many options downtown, just fast food or fine dining.”

Nguyen leased the 2,500-square-foot space in February. It was previously home to a Starbucks that closed in 2020. She has gutted the space and hopes to open from 7am to 9pm in early winter this year

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

“10 years ago, the Denver restaurant scene was all about good food,” Nguyen said. “A chef-run casual restaurant was something I wanted as a consumer, and our guests really loved that. We had a line out the first day we opened and the lines haven’t stopped since.”

Olive & Finch sells its wholesale packaged meals to a variety of businesses around the city, including Rose Medical Center, Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center and Platte Street Mercantile.

Nguyen said she’s always looking for additional locations for Olive & Finch and now Little Finch, eyeing the Denver Tech Center and downtown Denver.

This story was reported by our partner BusinessDen.

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