WHERE TO GRAB A BITE
12 of the most anticipated restaurants set to open in metro Denver
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.)
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