12 of the most an­tic­i­pated restau­rants set to open in metro Den­ver

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - by Colleen O’Con­nor, The Den­ver Post

Find out about the ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated eater­ies in 2016 — in­clud­ing a pop­u­lar Texas taco trans­plant: Torchy’s.

F rom pizza joints to culi­nary em­po­ri­ums, lots of new places will be open­ing this year, com­bin­ing lo­cal tal­ent with emerg­ing neigh­bor­hoods and hot con­cepts on the na­tional scene. Open­ing dates tend to get pushed back, but here’s an overview of what’s com­ing this year.

The Stan­ley Mar­ket­place, ex­pected to open this sum­mer in Aurora, has peo­ple across the coun­try ex­cited — it’s on Za­gat’s list of most an­tic­i­pated restau­rant open­ings this year. The 100,000-square-foot mar­ket­place will be home to many food ven­dors and restau­rants, in­clud­ing Rosen­berg’s Bagels and Del­i­catessen, Co­mida and Ca­sita Brew­ing Com­pany. (2501 Dal­las St.)

And the new restau­rant — still un­named — from Frasca Food and Wine founders Bobby Stuckey and Lach­lan Mackin­non-Patterson landed on the Daily Meal’s list of 25 most an­tic­i­pated restau­rants in the coun­try. It’s part of the A Block @ Union Sta­tion mixed-use de­vel­op­ment set to open in De­cem­ber. The Frasca own­ers say their new place will in­cor­po­rate con­cepts from both Frasca and their Pizze­ria Lo­cale, with a fo­cus on ca­sual din­ing. (1881 16th St.)

Over in the RiNo neigh­bor­hood, the Cen­tral Mar­ket food hub plans to open this spring. Jeff Osaka, who re­cently de­buted Sushi-Rama, is cu­rat­ing the 13 food ven­dors that will be lo­cated in a 14,000square-foot space in the for­mer H.H. Tam­men Cu­rio Co. that’s also home to the jazz-and-sup­per club Noc­turne. (2669 Larimer St.)

The open­ing date for Torchy’s Tacos keeps get­ting pushed back — right now, it’s set for the first day of

Fe­bru­ary. Owner Michael Rypka is bring­ing the pop­u­lar Austin eatery to down­town Den­ver in the for­mer Arby’s space at 11th Av­enue and Broad­way with a menu that in­cludes sig­na­ture cock­tails, in­fused tequi­las and such tacos as The Baja Shrimp and The Brush­fire with Ja­maican jerk chicken. (1085 Broad­way).

Also in Fe­bru­ary, chefowner Biju Thomas is open­ing a se­cond lo­ca­tion of his pop­u­lar Lit­tle Curry Shop in the Berke­ley neigh­bor­hood with the same beloved meals — chicken bowls, beef bowls and veg­gie bowls — served at the RiNo lo­ca­tion. (4279 Ten­nyson St.)

Mat­suhisa Cherry

Creek is com­ing early this year, fea­tur­ing the cui­sine of Nobu Mat­suhisa, who opened his first restau­rant in Bev­erly Hills in 1987 and went on to have out­posts around the world, from Lon­don to Tokyo. His restau­rants in Aspen and Vail are mag­nets for in­ter­na­tional food­ies, so the up­com­ing place in Cherry Creek makes it easy for lo­cals to sam­ple his renowned Ja­panese-Peru­vian cui­sine. (3222 E. 1st Ave.)

Paul Reilly and his sis­ter, Aileen Reilly, the own­ers of the pop­u­lar Up­town eatery Beast + Bot­tle, are open­ing Cop­erta — which cen­ters on Ital­ian food — early this year in space that for­merly housed Jonesy’s. (404 E. 20th Ave.)

And for chefs like Justin Cucci and Justin Brun­son, it also will be a year of ex­pan­sion. This spring, Cucci is open­ing Vi­tal Root (3915 Ten­nyson St.) with a fo­cus on veg­e­tar­ian and ve­gan plates, adding to his list of

such suc­cess­ful eater­ies as Ophe­lia’s, Root Down and Linger. This sum­mer he plans to open L5, a Span­ish tapas bar in the same new LoHi de­vel­op­ment that in­cludes Corey Baker’s Sushi Ronin. (2930 Umatilla St.)

Ear­lier this month, Brun­son left his gig as culi­nary di­rec­tor of the Honor So­ci­ety to fo­cus on such new projects as the Mas­ter­piece Kitchen, which is ex­pected to open in Fe­bru­ary. Founder of Old Ma­jor and Mas­ter­piece Deli, Brun­son says Mas­ter­piece Kitchen — lo­cated in Lowry’s Hangar 2 de­vel­op­ment near Troy Guard’s Bubu — will ex­pand his Mas­ter­piece Deli con­cept into a fullser­vice restau­rant that will of­fer many of the most pop­u­lar sand­wiches and sal­ads from Mas­ter­piece Deli. (84 Ram­part Road)

Troy Guard is also ex­pand­ing his em­pire in 2016, with two restau­rants in Sta­ple­ton’s up­com­ing East­bridge Town Cen­ter — Los Chin­gones and a break­fast-con­cept eatery — open­ing at the end of the year.

Torchy’s Tacos, which took over the spot for­merly held by Arby’s at 11th Av­enue and Broad­way, is among a num­ber of restau­rants open­ing in Den­ver this year. In many cases, own­ers and chefs are ex­pand­ing from their cur­rent lo­ca­tions. Brent Lewis, The Den­ver Post


Biju Thomas, owner of Lit­tle Curry Shop, will open a se­cond lo­ca­tion in the Berke­ley neigh­bor­hood in Fe­bru­ary. Cyrus McCrim­mon, Den­ver Post file

Frasca’s Bobby Stuckey, right, and Lach­lan Mackin­non-Patterson. Hy­oung Chang, Post file


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