Chefs to Watch 2017: Tommy Lee, Hop Alley and Uncle, Denver

Amy Cavanaugh

When Tommy Lee decided to open his second Denver restaurant, in 2015, he planned to do yakitori, a continuation of his focus on Japanese food that began when he opened Uncle, a ramen restaurant, in 2012. But when he found the space, he realized that Japanese food wasn’t the right fit.

“At the time we toured [the space], it happened to be a...