More than three years of vacancy at the former Jose’s Restaurant in downtown Littleton came to an end this month with the opening of The Alley.
With a style dubbed “Mountain Mexican,” the new bar and restaurant shares the building at 2420 W. Main St. with Bristlecone Construction.
“Mountain Mexican is our version of Mexican,” said restaurant general manager Tommy Scarbrough. “It’s smoked, it’s smothered, it’s hearty.”
Menu items include quesadillas with smoked pork or chicken, steak fajitas and various tacos and tostadas. Drinks include hyper-local beer offerings from Locavore Beer Works, 38 State Brewing Company and Grist Brewing Company.
Bristlecone owns The Alley as well, and company President Zach Smith tapped fellow Littleton native and restaurant industry veteran Scarbrough to run it.
Scarbrough came to The Alley from Yard House in Lakewood, and wasn’t sure about the switch.
“It’s small, and Yard House is huge, and I felt like I was on a certain path,” the Heritage High School graduate said.
That path began when he was a teenager, washing dishes at a South Broadway restaurant. With the exception of a stint in the Navy, he’s worked in the industry ever since.
He has experience in downtown Littleton as well, at Tavern Littleton. The Alley has a slightly different approach to food preparation than other restaurants in the area — its kitchen is located in a truck parked in the back, surrounded by a patio with outdoor tables and a fire pit, maximizing space on the inside.
Scarbrough likened the approach to that employed by many of the area’s breweries that don’t have kitchens, but have food trucks set up shop outside. But The Alley’s truck doesn’t go anywhere. The truck also serves up breakfast burritos and churro doughnuts beginning at 8 a.m.
“I think what we’re offering is different than anything else on the street,” Scarbrough said.
Inside, the decor pays homage to Littleton’s past, with photos of old businesses and local figures, including city founder Richard Little, the Beers Sisters’ dairy, the Littleton Hose Boys volunteer fire department and Browning’s Barbershop, which is believed to have occupied the Alley’s building around the turn of the 20th century.
“It’s kind of a nice trip down Littleton historical lane,” Scarbrough said.
Anna Schmidt of Bristlecone said that the company wanted to find pictures that best represented the city.
“We wanted to be sure we told the stories of those that helped shape this wonderful town,” she said.