This last spring, Meow Wolf Denver put out a Request for Proposal for Convergence Station’s fast-casual HELLOFOOD café. The arts group invited local businesses to apply to be food and beverage partners, which will contribute items to the restaurant’s menu.
Raices Brewing Company is just down the street from Convergence Station in Denver’s Sun Valley neighborhood. José D. Beteta, the brewery’s chief executive officer and cofounder, knew he wanted Raices to be Meow Wolf partner, and not just because of its proximity.
“Because of our values,” he said. “Our love for community, our love for culture and arts, our value system.”
He said he responded to Meow Wolf’s Request for Proposal in March 2021, when he and Tamil Maldonado Vega – his wife, Raices cofounder and Raices’ VP of Development – were hospitalized with COVID-19.
“We were both intubated,” Beteta said. “I remember struggling in bed, kind of fighting for my life. And then I remembered the deadline coming up, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, I haven’t finished that!’ ”
He picked up his laptop and got to work. He remembers struggling to breathe and to focus on the application, but he managed to submit Raices’ concept by the deadline. Beteta says he received a notice of acceptance a few weeks later, or maybe a month later. He’s not quite sure.
“Time kind of flies when you’re in the hospital,” he said.
Raices will be selling three beers wholesale to Meow Wolf Denver, which will resell them at HELLOFOOD: Soñando Despierto (Daydreaming), a hazy IPA; Manguito, a local favorite infused with mangos; and Valle Del Sol, a golden ale named for Sun Valley. Part of proceeds from Valle Del Sol serve the Sun Valley community.
The restaurant is designed as an “in-world” experience, a café that a press release says has served quantum travelers “for 2,500 years and counting.”
And much like the exhibition’s storyline, which involves quantum travel and the mashing together of multiple universes, HELLOFOOD’s menu is all about fusion.
“The theme of Convergence Station as an interplanetary melting pot is inspired by the beautifully diverse melding of cultures of Sun Valley, where we’re located,” said Brian Loo, Meow Wolf’s senior director of operations development. “We started right here in the community as we wanted our café to reflect its rich diversity. We called upon local restaurateurs, craft breweries, coffee roasters and bakeries to collaborate on our menu. The results are exponentially tasty with the vast majority of our offerings made right here in Colorado.”
The café offers food and beverages representing a variety of cuisines, the majority of which are based here in Denver, including Sun Valley and nearby neighborhoods like La Alma Lincoln Park and Sloan’s Lake. Here’s the complete list of café partners:
- Adobo, a concept by Denver Chef Blaine Baggao highlighting his Filipino and New Mexican heritage with Latin-Asian flavors.
- Bubby Goober’s Baked Goods, a wife and wife team that makes hand pies here in Denver.
- Combi Taco & Stokes Poke, which will be offering agua frescas inspired by local chef Alejandro Flores-Munoz’s hometown, Guadalajara, Mexico.
- Copper Door Coffee, a local, female owned coffee roaster.
- God Save the Cream, a Denver-based, woman-owned ice cream company that offers flavors that seem right at home at Meow Wolf. For example, “Unicorn Poop.”
- Marble Brewery, a New Mexico-based craft brewery that teamed up with Meow Wolf to create a Japanese-style rice lager called Day Ghost.
- Miss Peabody’s Southern Tea Cakes, a Denver bakery inspired by a sweet Louisiana classic.
- Odell Brewing Co., which will be serving up local wine from its new OBC Wine Project.
- Osage Cafe, a Youth Employment Academy inititive that acts as a healthy food cafe serving the Mariposa District and trains young adults interested in the culinary arts
- Raices Brewing Company, a Latino-owned and operated brewery in Denver’s Sun Valley neighborhood.
- Rocky Mountain Soda Company, a Denver-based soda maker.
- tea.o.graphy, a New Mexico-based craft tea company.
- Upslope Brewing Company, a Colorado-based brewery.
HELLOFOOD will open on the exhibition’s ground floor on Sept. 17 when Convergence Station does. It will be open exclusively to Meow Wolf ticket holders who’ve been admitted into the building. Guests can purchase grab-and-go meals or dine in at the café or its outdoor patio. You can check out its full menu now, and buy tickets to Convergence Station on Meow Wolf’s website.