Life on Capitol Hill: November Business Matters

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Business Matters is a monthly column on the changing landscape of business and development in north Denver. If there are any inquiries on new developments in your area, or if you are a local business wishing to highlight an upcoming milestone, email Kailyn Lamb at klamb@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

Development

270 14th St.

A triangle-shaped block near the Capitol building has gone from micro units to possible hotel, according to development plans filed with the city in September.

The Denver Post initially reported in 2016 that the city was considering using the block as a potential space for micro units, but no plans were ever submitted. The building space at 270 14th St. was formerly a day care facility.

Now, it appears that the building’s new owner, a partnership of Denver-based Urban Villages and Larimer Associates CEO Jeff Hermanson, has changed gears toward building a 14-story hotel building in the space. The partnership bought the building from the city in 2017, according to city records.

Business

Openings

Tora Ramen

Broadway Market has gained a new ramen shop, according to a news release from the food hall. Tora Ramen, a concept from Chef Jesusio Silva will be replacing the spot that was formerly held by Biju’s Little Curry Shop.

Silvo said the ramen will be based in Japanese tradition, but with a more experimental twist.

“Our menu is inspired by traditional Japanese ramen, but with a twist,” Silva said in the news release. “We’ll start simple, but eventually we want to be experimental with other cuisines, not just looking at ramen as one single kind of food but more like an opportunity to bring the flavors of other cultures to ramen.”

The ramen shop opened in the Broadway Market, 950 Broadway, at the end of October.

Sukiya Ramen

Sukiya Ramen, a restaurant based in Greenwood Village is opening a second location in the former Fat Jack’s Supersubs space on Broadway.

The Greenwood Village location serves ramen, poke and donburi bowls, which are made of meat served over rice. The Baker neighborhood restaurant is located at 450 Broadway. The Sukiya website lists the location as coming soon, but does not have an opening date.

Fat Jack’s closed all three of its locations late last year. After the restaurant closed, signs were posted on the Baker neighborhood door stating that Fat Jack’s owners owed $2,300 in taxes for that location.

Gattara

A new restaurant with a “cat lady” theme has opened inside the Warwick Hotel in Uptown. Gattara, which means “cat lady” in Italian, recently replaced Randolph’s inside the hotel at 1776 Grant St.

“It’s become a really funny inspiration point,” said Heidi Laursen, the director of sales and marketing for both the hotel and restaurant. She added that in their minds, a gattara is a more sassy and classy cat lady.

In the area of Randolph’s that used to be a private dining space, a new copper oven has been installed. Gattara’s restaurant manger Alex Brown said the oven can cook the restaurant’s pizzas in 90 seconds to two minutes.

The restaurant offers Italian food from all over Italy with various twists from Thomas Newstead, the head chef. He said he wanted to have Old World cooking style, but in a modern setting.

Laursen said the owners of the restaurant wanted to replace Randolph’s with a new concept because it was not aging well with the community. The restaurant space is open to non-hotel guests. Laursen said they extended happy hour from 4-7 p.m. to allow people extra time to get home from work to enjoy the bar.

Closings

Barricuda’s

The longtime bar and restaurant announced on its Facebook page that it would be closing on Nov. 3.

“It’s been our pleasure to serve and be a part of the Capitol Hill community for 25 years,” the post said.

The bar held a customer-employee appreciation party on its closing day.

Barricuda’s first opened as the Odgen Cafe nearby to where the Sexy Pizza is now, according to another Facebook post by the business. It started in 1989 as a small burrito shop before owners Mercy and Jin Lee moved to its current location at 1076 Ogden St. The name was changed to Barricuda’s in 1994.

Denver Bicycle Cafe and Tandem Bar

The Bicycle Cafe closed last month after eight years in business. The Tandem Bar, which shared a building was the liquor side of the business also closed. Tandem opened in March after rebranding what was originally the DBC Beer Hall.

The businesses were located at 1308 E. 17th Ave.

The company hosted a goodbye party on Nov. 1.

Backstage Coffee

The 13-year-old coffee shop closed last month at the Denver Performing Arts Center after being evicted. The space is owned by Denver Arts and Venues. Backstage Coffee opened there in 2006.

BusinessDen reported that the coffee shop was more than $70,000 behind on rent.

Tavern Downtown and Cowboy Lounge

The two Lower Downtown restaurants closed early last month. A sign on the door of Cowoboy Lounge asked customers to visit other locations that are operated by the Tavern Hospitality Group.

Tavern Downtown opened in 2006 and was followed by Cowboy Lounge in 2007. Tavern was located at 1949 Market St. Cowboy Lounge neighbored the restaurant at 1941 Market.

Changes

The Monkey Barrel

Benny Blanco’s Slice of the Bronx, a staple pizza spot in Capitol Hill, has taken over the kitchen at The Monkey Barrel in Sunnyside. The Monkey Barrel has been around for three years and is located at 4401 Tejon St.

Benny Blanco’s has offered walk up pizza on East 13th Avenue since 2001.

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