About Acorn

A unique, eclectic, contemporary bar and grill in Denver’s River North District.

Located within the Source, a reclaimed 1880’s foundry turned new epicurean marketplace in Denver’s River North District, Acorn boasts Chef Ian Palazzola’s eclectic, contemporary American cooking in an approachable, family-friendly format, alongside Beverage Director/Owner Bryan Dayton’s ingredient-driven cocktails, and handpicked selection of artisan wines and beers.

Similar to its critically acclaimed sister restaurant in Boulder, OAK at fourteenth, Acorn’s culinary and inspirational foundation is its oak-fired oven and grill, which produce a seasonal, ever-changing menu of craveable, family-style small plates and entrées. Guests will also find a selection of favorite dishes from the menus at OAK.

Steven, Bryan and their team at Acorn are proud to be serving Denver, and look forward to welcoming you.


After attending culinary school in Atlanta, Georgia, Palazzola moved on to work at Restaurant Eugene for James Beard award-winning chef Linton Hopkins. It was there that Ian learned to cook with care and artistry and understood the importance of developing relationships with farmers – a major influence on the way he cooks today. Looking to expand beyond his Southern comfort zone, Palazzola headed West to Aspen’s The Little Nell, where he worked as a sous chef for three years. Soon after, he connected with Mourad Lahlou to help open the eponymous Bay Area fine-dining temple, Mourad. In under a year, Mourad received a Michelin star and Palazzola was promoted to chef de cuisine, where he commanded the Moroccan spice pantry with hints of his Southern roots shining through. In 2016, Palazzola was named a “Rising Star Chef” by StarChefs and Acorn has consistently ranked on 5280’s “25 Best” list.


Bryan-DaytonBryan Dayton’s passion for mixology is reflected in his growing list of beverage awards and notable accomplishments. A bartender with over 15 years of experience, Dayton is also a certified sommelier and graduate of the Beverage Alcohol Resource Program (BAR) with honors. In addition to creating the beverage program here at Acorn, Dayton continues to manage and oversee day to day operations at OAK at fourteenth in Boulder.

Prior to operating his own restaurants, Dayton spent time working alongside Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey at Frasca Food and Wine, where he met his now business partner Steven Redzikowski, who at the time was working in the kitchen under Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson.  While at Frasca, Dayton also worked part-time as the Colorado brand ambassador for Domaine de Canton, all while managing his own cocktail catering service, Sweet & Sour Cocktails.

In 2008 Dayton started the Colorado chapter of the United States Bartender’s Guild (COBG). Every year he can be spotted at cocktail competitions demonstrating his creativity or using his experience and education both as a nationally acclaimed judge and competitor.

As the Co-Owner and Beverage Director for now two prominent restaurants in Colorado, Dayton continues to do what he does best—mixing unique spirits with of-the-moment seasonal ingredients to create innovative, yet accessible libations.

Acorn’s cocktails have been recently featured in a number of national publications including Bon Appetit and Details magazine. Dayton himself has also been featured in several prominent local and national publications, including Vanity Fair, GQ, Imbibe, Men’s Journal, 5280, Westword, and The Denver Post. When Dayton’s not in either of the restaurants or developing new cocktails, you can find him training for his next big high-elevation marathon.