East Coast Style

Rosenberg’s After Dark Saves the Day With Its P.M. Menu of Pizza, Subs and Cocktails

Article by Allyson Reedy

Photography by From the Hip Photo

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

Knowing Rosenberg’s only for its bagels is like knowing Superman only as Clark Kent. Don’t get us wrong, Clark is cool and all on his own, but it’s that transformation into Superman that packs the powerful punch—that completes his identity and reveals his full potential and achievement. Rosenberg’s is like that, too. The mild-mannered bagel deli by day turns into the steamy-sounding Rosenberg’s After Dark post 3 p.m., and it’s only then that you see the complete package of what owner Joshua Pollack has to offer. The pizzas, subs, and mozzarella sticks ready to swoop in and save your day. The wine and cocktails coming to the rescue. Because come on, not all superheroes wear capes, and it would be pretty difficult to find one big enough to wrap around the 4,000-square-foot Hill eatery anyway.

Rosenberg’s After Dark opened on the Hill this past spring as the largest location yet for Pollack’s Bridge & Tunnel Restaurant Group, which includes Rosenberg’s Bagels & Delicatessen, Famous Original J’s Pizza, and Lou’s Italian Specialties. Everything comes from Joshua’s experience as an East Coaster relocating west and missing the staples he’d grown up eating. And while he started his East Coast-style food empire in Denver, it was actually as a college student in Boulder where Joshua first came up with the idea to open Rosenberg’s.

“When I first moved out here, I got crazy one night in the dorms, and the next morning I needed my hangover cure—a bacon, egg, and cheese on a bagel. I scoured the town, but couldn’t find what I was used to eating. It donned on me that all this food I’d taken for granted, but that’s so important to me and my general happiness, didn’t exist. I said that someday if I’m in a good position, I’m going to do this. I’m going to open a bagel shop. It all started here because I was hungry and hungover, and to bring it back to Boulder where it all began is exciting,” Joshua says.

It may have started with bagels, but pizza and parm were always on his mind too. It took a few years for him to open Lou’s and Famous Original J’s as separate concepts in Denver, but when planning his dream Boulder outpost, he knew he wanted to showcase his full range of Italian stunners from the get-go. Enter the After Dark transformation.

“People don’t necessarily want to eat bagels at night out here,” Joshua says. “Since we had the pizza and Italian deli, I thought what if we bring in all our concepts, almost like a mini food hall. Doing it in Boulder made sense because all those things are what I craved out here that I didn’t have. Bagels were first because they’re so ingrained in my Jewish culture, but pizza and the Italian deli are probably a close second in my heart, which lives in my stomach.”

From Famous Original J’s, you get two New York styles of pizza. The classic, greasy, oversized triangle sliced pie you’re probably already obsessed with, and the square Brooklyn-style pizza, where the ingredient order is dough-cheese-sauce. You can’t go wrong with either, and both can be topped with red or white sauce, and, it should be mentioned, the oh-so-Jersey topping of Taylor ham.

You can thank Lou’s Italian Specialties for the six-deep sandwich menu, which includes that addictive chicken parmesan (as well as meatball and eggplant parms), a couple genoa salami-laced subs, and a smoked portobello with roasted red peppers, onion jam, and balsamic glaze.

The bar is pretty heroic too. Belly up to the dedicated drink area for several beers, spritzes, cocktails, and wines on tap. Most options are local, with wines coming from Denver’s Attimo, spirits from The Family Jones, and custom Bloody Mary mixes from The Real Dill.

So yes, there’s a lot more going on at Rosenberg’s besides bagels. After Dark is the pizza, sub, and spritz-slinging superhero we need in our lives.


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