ATELIER BY RADEX
Radek Cerny has (finally) returned to his Denver cooking roots with the opening of Atelier by Radex. Pronounce it ‘ah-tel-yeah’—a French word …
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ATELIER BY RADEX
Radek Cerny has (finally) returned to his Denver cooking roots with the opening of Atelier by Radex. Pronounce it ‘ah-tel-yeah’—a French word signifying a workshop or private studio of a professional artist.
Fans of his L’Atelier in Boulder now must share Cerny’s artistry. Some months ago, the chef/owner announced he was quitting Boulder after a 13 year run, following a dispute with City officials. The result was a costly, three-week shutdown. Evidently, Boulderites were inconsolable.
“It was crazy. As soon as the article came out (about our departure), customers either wanted to have a last meal or convince us to stay,” said general manager Ryan Hull.
The Boulder location will remain open but that dispute has delivered a new French eatery for Denver.
Enter the former Il Posto space at 2011 E. 17th St. in Uptown and you’ll note a crisp, but warm décor with copper accents everywhere.
“The only thing we kept was the wood floors,” he said.
The atmosphere is enviable—both stylish and simple. The kitchen anchors one back corner of the space, but in friendly weather, the interior dining area seamlessly connects to the front patio with a trio of garage doors.
Hull describes the cuisine as “French with a twist.” The bouillabaisse curry rouge is one example. You’ll also find more traditional French offerings like escargot and several offerings built around homard (French for lobster).
The wine list is expected to grow as the weeks pass.
“We’re starting small,” Hull said. “We offer some old vintage burgundies, but will expand the list.”
It’s a delight to see Cerny return to his roots. Papillion eatery in Cherry Creek North (CCN) was his first space, but Cerny also worked with Noel Cunningham of Strings fame back in the day.
“This one’s for you, buddy,” reads a tribute to Cunningham on the front door. Cunningham passed away years ago, but this stretch of Uptown continues to benefit from his strong influence.
Lunch is served weekdays 11:00a.m.-2:00p.m. Dinner service begins at 5:00p.m. The eatery’s number is 720-379-5556.
Staff at Chef Radex Cerny’s new Atelier eatery in Uptown prepare for another busy evening on East 17th Avenue.
JACK’S UPTOWN GRILLE
The former P17 eatery, a few blocks west of Atelier, also opened on April 14th. This is a classy new space that serves “scratch new American food with a midwestern flair,” according to owner Steve Lockton.
“Midwest cuisine reminds so many of us—especially me—of the precious moments from our youth,” Lockton said. “Our goal is to bring new American food with a Midwestern twist, in an upscale, friendly environment, to honor my late father, Jack.”
Lockton’s dad was passionate about family, friendship and camaraderie, paired with great food and wine. This tribute features a stellar new bar area tiled in turquoise that’s cool and inviting. Dine there, at family style tables indoors or choose one of two heated patios.
The menu emphasis is on slow-cooked meats, baby back ribs, gourmet burgers, including one infused with three cheeses, steaks, sandwiches, salads and what the venture calls, ‘craveables.’
That last category includes truffle kettle chips and dip, garlic hummus, spinach and artichoke dip, plus sliders and chicharrónes, a.k.a. crisp pork skins.
Sunday brunch includes a wide range of offerings. Healthful protein bowls are offered next to a selection of eggs Benedict, Captain Crunch-encrusted French toast and biscuits with sausage gravy.
Cocktails for brunch include an Old Fashioned with Fireside bourbon, muddled bacon, bitters and maple syrup. There’s also a Skittles sangria, infused with fruit and colorful candies, plus a cotton candy Cosmo with a strawberry cotton candy rim.
A large number of wines featured are available by the glass or bottle. Sides include lamb bacon and Little Man ice cream for dessert.
The restaurant is an open-air concept with three garage doors opening up the two exterior walls onto two ample patios and a fire pit. The interior detailing is part modern chic and part tribute to the 150-year-old vintage building.
Parking can be challenging in the area surrounding 1600 E. 17th Ave. but complimentary valet is offered on the weekends. Call 303-399-0988 for details. Hours are Monday-Thursday, 11:00a.m.-10:00p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11:00a.m.-2:00a.m.; Sunday, 7:00a.m.-10:00p.m.
The bar at Jack’s Uptown Grille is an eye-catching space perfect for catching up or sharing some “craveable' snacks.” Photo courtesy Jack's Uptown Grille.
A trio of new sushi places and a Thai spot round out the new eateries list.
First up is Katana at 955 Lincoln St. in the Pho Denver and my first thought?
“What a great name for a sushi bar.”
Katana is the name of a traditional samurai sword and we all know sushi takes sharp knives.
In addition to a wide selection of sushi rolls, Katana offers hibachi meals, udon noodle dishes, sashimi and much more. There’s even tempura cheesecake for dessert.
Hours start at 11:00a.m. Monday-Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. The website is katanasushidenver.com and the eatery’s number is 303- 284-6665.
Located in the space recently vacated by Flow Juice Bar, Sushi Cup at 208 E. Seventh Ave. features inside out rolls, called Uramaki, as well as more traditional sushi items.
Some offerings on the menu can be seared for an additional fee. Sushi Cup offers a variety of Japanese beverages with their eats, including ramune soda and green tea. If you’re a fan of mochi ice creams—those little portions wrapped in sweet rice dough—Sushi Cup carries seven different flavors.
The number here is 303-832-8008. The shop opens at 11:00a.m., except Sunday when doors open at 1:00p.m.
When Thai Basil moved two doors to the west, Genki Sushi moved in at 1422 E. 18th Ave. The place has been beautifully refreshed.
Genki offers an extensive menu, with numerous special rolls, plus options like tempura and fried oysters for non-sushi fans.
Unlike some sushi-focused eateries, the smell of fish here is subtle. Still, the fish in the sparking fish tank by the door looked a tad nervous.
Hours are Monday-Thursday; 11:00a.m.-9:30p.m.; Friday, 11:00a.m.-10p.m., Saturday, noon-10:00p.m.; and Sunday, noon-9:30p.m.
The web address is genkisushidenver.com.
9 THAI RESTAURANT
Nine is a lucky number in Thailand and the owners of 9 Thai at 4122 E. Colfax Ave. have high hopes for good luck to grace this new eatery.
Located in the former Thai Monkey space, the new venture promises Thai comfort food. Your meal begins with iced jasmine water. Kyla Love is the chef/owner and promises attention to every detail.
“We are offering items you can’t find in other restaurants,” Love said. Those specials include Hainanese chicken and rice, Mama Tom Yum seafood and Pork Noodle Soup with homemade meatballs. There’s also fresh, in-the-shell coconut juice if you’re dining in.
The eatery opens at 11:00a.m. daily. The number is 303-658-0751.
Rustic furniture with the bright colors of the Mediterranean fill the large space next door at 4130 E. Colfax Ave. Owner/artist Enrique Gonzalez has relocated his business from the Stapleton area and he’s getting a lot of foot traffic.
Gonzalez comes from a family of artisans and woodworkers dating back generations. In addition to benches, tables, cabinets and other functional pieces, he also crafts accent pieces. 90 percent of the woods used come from reclaimed barns. Unique antiques like hand printing presses and vintage toasters found in those old structures dot the showroom floor.
Allow time to explore. In one corner, you’ll find a bench made out of house doors. In another, a liquor cabinet hides behind rough woods. From old wooden spools for cables and wires, Gonzalez has fashioned huge wall clocks.
May 6th, the shop will hold a Grand Opening party starting at 1:00p.m. Many of the artists represented in the shop will be present and everyone’s invited. Otherwise, the shop opens daily at 10:00a.m. Call 720-862-08321 for details.
Rustic Barcelona: many of the wooden items Enrique Gonzalez makes are very functional but others like this large urn are strictly decorative.
The sign out front reads, “We’re a travel agency. Yes, they still exist.”
Welcome to Tafari Travel, a new upscale service, at 2626 E. 3rd Ave. in CCN.
Sarah Fazendin explained about their approach.
“We’re made up of unique agents who have their own unique specialties, destinations of focus,” she said.
Fazendin’s focus surprised me for a business promoting luxury.
“I’m a family travel expert,” she added. “The word ‘luxury’ is one I don’t like to use very much. Everything we do is customized and personalized.”
Personalized does not always mean Five Star accommodations, she explained.
“I spent a long time working in Africa. There are some amazing opportunities to get off the beaten path there,” she said.
One such twist is a wildlife safari on horseback. Fazendin started her career in travel working for the National Tourism Board in Kenya. She learned about safari lodgings, meals served family-style and other unique features that led to one-of-a-kind trips.
Hours for Tafari are weekdays during normal business hours, but they also offer evenings by appointment. The brand is new, but Tafari is affiliated with a chain of similar agencies, based in California.
Come with your own ideas or let them show you options. The website is tafaritravel.com. The company phone number is 303-586-6815.
I could have tucked this item into the business changes section, but truly, Byblos Café at 400 Corona St. feels like a brand new eatery, even if it carries a trace of the former Café Byblos Mediterranean Grill in its name.
New management took over the space just over a month ago. Joe and Justin Khraim are cousins who serve as chefs/owners and maître Ds.
“Our food sells itself,” boasted Joe Khraim.
Now, that’s a pretty big claim for a new eatery, but Khraim is up to the challenge. He boasts that his signature Chicken Shawarma dish is already a runaway hit.
“We have regulars already,” he said on day 11 of operations. “One guy, he came back for his seventh Shawarma today.”
I don’t normally sample eats during my interviews, but Khraim wouldn’t take no for an answer. The plate of well-seasoned chicken, hummus, feta salad and rice was both eye-and-palate pleasing.
The menu splits its focus between Lebanese and Greek cuisines. It’s also a modest menu that Khraim feels he can produce with attention to speedy service and quality.
Moussaka, spinach and filo pies, salads and broiled kabobs round out the menu, along with gyros. There’s a vegetarian plate featuring all their veggie options. All dishes are made fresh every morning.
Try the Lebanese iced tea. It’s a blend of rosewater lemonade and sweet tea—a very refreshing accompaniment that pairs well with spicy Shawarma.
Lunch specials include a lamb shank paired with feta cheese salad.
The cousins bring a wealth of Louisiana cooking experience to their first ownership venture. They worked in Baton Rouge before Denver.
“I came here for a vacation and just loved it,” explained Joe Khraim.
He started looking for a restaurant space and found this one. After five years in business, the eatery needed a major facelift. It’s now sparkling and light with a fresh vibe.
The web address is byblos-café.com. Call 303-777-7553 for information. Hours are weekdays 11:00a.m.-2:30p.m. for lunch; 4:15-9:00p.m. for dinner. On weekends, Byblos opens at 11:00a.m. and serves until 9:00p.m. or 9:30p.m.
Byblos Café owners Joe, right, and Justin Khraim show off their best selling dish—the chicken shwarma plate.
BELLA LUNA GIFTS & GALLERY
Here’s another business note that does not fit my standard categories. It’s Bella Luna Gifts & Gallery on Downing Street, just north of 20th Street.
I first wrote about Bella Luna back in 2012, when it opened. Then, it shut in 2013. I missed that event for quite awhile and just wrote of the closing last year. Then, noticed it was open again. Confused? Me, too!
“The construction on Downing, and us buying a home in Southwest Denver, caused us to close (right after getting Westword's Best Hole in the Wall gift shop award). The space was rented to a group called Good Thieves Press for three years. The space became available in July 2016, and I was ready to pursue my dream again of reopening Bella Luna Gifts & Gallery!” explained owner Crystal O’Brien.
“Where Local meets Global” is the shop’s motto. Several dozen artists are represented in the space. Each local artist takes a turn running the business side of the house.
“We feature the work of nearly 30 local Denver artists and specialize in vintage and collectables,” she explained.
One of those artists is Monica Gonzalez. Originally from Ecuador, she works with artisans in that country to make jewelry from tagua seeds. The result is lightweight jewelry that can be dyed to a rich hue.
This use of sustainable materials is a thread woven throughout the gallery space.
“Every artist featured in the store has a unique story. One, in particular I love, is a lady whose name is Karen Fisher who grows lavender in her urban garden, just blocks away from us on Gilpin, and turns it into beautiful soap, lotions, salts and scrubs! She doesn't waste any part of the plant. She wraps the leftover stocks in beautiful purple paper and sells them as fire starters,” O’Brien said.
Prices for the lavender line and other goods are often quite affordable. There’s something for every shopper here, and now that construction at St. Joseph’s Hospital is wrapping up, there’s more foot traffic for the gallery to draw in.
Sample food, music, and beverages at their Spring Fling on Downing May 20th from 5:00-9:00p.m. Hours are 11:00a.m.-5:00p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. The phone number is 303-507-9118.
Artist Monica Gonzalez shows off some of the seed-based jewelry her group of women in Equador make for Bella Luna gallery.
VINE @ VIA
For as long as I can recall, Watson’s Grocery and Liquor has anchored the corner of Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Street, next to Dazzle. That shop is now empty.
Instead, the ownership has moved a block away on the northwest corner of East Eighth Avenue and Lincoln. In the space once occupied by a 7-11, they now operate under the name Vine @ Via.
Via is a new apartment complex that stretches to Broadway and halfway up the block toward DJ’s Café. Vine will continue to carry grocery items, in addition to wine, beer and liquor. The alcoholic inventory is being beefed up first, but you’ll still be able to buy essentials, like toilet paper, on the ground floor of the apartment complex. Pretty cool.
Also cool is the off street parking. Enter their lot off Eighth Avenue if you can’t grab an empty metered spot.
Hours for the new venture are Monday-Thursday, 10:00a.m.-11:30p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10:00a.m.-11:40p.m.; Sunday, 10:00a.m.-8:00p.m. The number remains 303-837-1366.
It’s moving month all around the ‘hood. First up is Dazzle, the longtime live jazz spot, at 930 Lincoln St.
Dazzle is packing up and moving downtown to 1512 Curtis St. The new home is the former Baur’s Listening Lounge space, located a short stroll from the DCPA center and Auraria campus.
May 21st is the last day at the original location.
“We’ve been at this location for 19 years and we’re just outgrowing the building, frankly. Our showroom seats just 100. The new one will seat up to 200 and that opens up a whole new level of acts,” said general manager Matt Ruff.
You still have a couple opportunities to savor Dazzle’s Sunday brunch buffet at the old space. Brunch will be offered on Curtis, too, but the future of Friday lunch is still undecided. June 1st will be the Grand Opening for the new space. Call 303-839-5100 for details.
DENVER SKIN CLINIC
After decades at the corner of East 18th Avenue and Gaylord Street, Denver Skin Clinic is relocating to 155 S. Madison St., near the Gates Tennis Center.
The practice, owned by Drs. Leslie Havard and Barbara Reid, has merged with Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery. Regulations, paperwork and massive construction in their old neighborhood triggered the move. The clinic number is still 303-322-7789.
THE WAG SHOP
On May 29th, The Wag Shop at 2626 E. Colfax Ave., will close. The building, owned by head groomer/co-owner Deidre Hered, has been sold.
“We bought a mobile grooming van. We’re going mobile. We have 500-ish clients right now and I almost have more than I can handle,” she said.
“I’m going back to my roots to rediscover why and what I love about grooming.”
This new chapter wasn’t yet rolling at press time. I’ll have more details in the June issue, including the possibility of a new non-mobile location, but as Hered starts this new chapter, expect a May liquidation sale for all the pet products the shop stocks. The number’s 303-282-1894.
Perhaps, some day I’ll launch a ‘No Changes’ section. That would be the best fit for this note. Right Start children’s gear is still open at the corner of East Third Avenue and Milwaukee Street, but is undergoing some renovations, including new glass along the sidewalk. It just looks all boarded up.
TO THE WIND
To The Wind Bistro, 3333 E. Colfax Ave., deserves kudos for completing its third year. Happy anniversary!
Royce and Leanne Oliveria, the husband/wife team who worked their way up through the ranks, run this small, but highly regarded eatery. On April 22nd, they suspended regular Saturday service to host a fundraiser for environmental causes. Giving back is an annual tradition for the Oliverias.
Friends and fellow diners tell me the entire menu’s worth a look, but I can never make it past the cornmeal waffles with roast pork shoulder and Asian slaw. I tried it as an appetizer and I just keep ordering more, so I’m becoming an expert on that dish. Yum.
If you’re more adventurous, check out the full menu at tothewindbistro.com. The buttermilk chicken has earned quite a following. Reservations are not offered, so get there early to grab a table.
The Assistance League’s hospital equipment lending program (HELP) will be moving from its current location at 14th Avenue and Josephine Street to the League’s new home on East Evans Avenue.
HELP loans hospital equipment for in-home rehab at no charge. All that’s expected is returning gear when it’s no longer needed. Health care practitioners refer patients to HELP.
HELP center is currently closed, but will reopen on May 9th at their new home on Evans, just west of Monaco Boulevard, in the former Palace Restaurant space. Hours will continue to be Tuesday-Thursday, 9:00a.m.-1:00p.m. 303-322-1688 is the number.
RETROGRADE & FROZEN MATTER
This artisanal ice cream shop and speakeasy has been busy growing since opening in Uptown a year ago.
In back, through the freezer door, Retrograde is an intimate speakeasy that recently rolled out a new cocktail concept that challenges my descriptive abilities.
The cocktail menu changes every three or four months. This menu lists names like Gamora, the Major and Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots. What it doesn't list are drink ingredients.
“We decided to exclude (mentioning) the spirit in each cocktail. We did this because so many of our customers have a spirit preference and we feel they miss out on some great cocktails as a result,” said co-owner Josh Gersen.
To be honest, the concept set me adrift. Gamora, for example, is described as light, spicy, gimlet play. The Major delivers monkey shoulder smoke, spices and peach. So, just dive in. If you try one and aren’t sold, just send it back.
“The response to this approach, thus far, has been initial apprehension, followed by almost everyone enjoying the drink we make them,” he added.
Retrograde opens daily at 5:00p.m. The bar closes at midnight Sunday-Wednesday, and 1:00a.m. Thursday-Saturday.
In the front of the house, Frozen Matter’s organic flavors recently won a Rising Stars Artisan award from the Star Chefs group. They’ve also added an ice cream sandwich made with stroopwafel—a crisp Dutch wafer—and this summer, the long-awaited ice pops will debut.
Catering has also expanded, with a new food cart. You’ll find Frozen Matter and Retrograde at 530 E. 19th Ave. The business number is 720-600-6358.
Frozen Matter organic ice cream recently showed off its street cart at the Denver Grilled Cheese fundraiser in April. Photo courtesy Frozen Matter.
SANDRA PHILLIPS GALLERY
The gallery of contemporary fine art run by Sandra Phillips has settled nicely into its new home at 47 W. 11th Ave. The shop is located just west of The METLO building and across the street from Torchy’s Tacos.
Phillips relocated closer to Broadway last September. The space is currently exhibiting the works of Frank Sampson, one of Colorado’s better-known painters.
Sampson taught at CU-Boulder for three decades. His new body of work offers some magical places that are a testament to his imagination and mastery of the art form.
A reception is slated for May 5th from 5:00-8:00p.m. Call 303-931-2991 for details. The exhibit runs through early June. For more, visit thesandraphillipsgallery.com. Regular hours are Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5:00p.m.; Sunday, noon-4:00p.m.
FAT JACK’S SUBS
Two Fat Jack’s Sub shops have closed. One was the original location on Lafayette Street and East Colfax Avenue that had been in business since 2000.
A second shop closed at Five Points Plaza, off Welton Street. The spot at 450 Broadway, next to Dae Gee Korean BBQ, still delivers to the Colfax area.
READY, FIT, GO
The grab and go food shop at 2190 E. 18th closed after a very brief run. The former Cornell Pharmacy building dished up healthful foods to go, with an eye toward lowering sodium and other health risks.
GOVINDA’S GARDEN CAFE
The vegan buffet eatery at 1400 Cherry St. closed at the end of April. Owners Nandini and Carlos Rossi explained to regulars that they were closing after the adjacent temple decided to resume control of the space.
The temple has reportedly found several individuals who will reopen the kitchen.
THURSTON KITCHEN DESIGN
The Denver branch of Thurston Kitchen & Bath design has moved to 761 Kalamath St. after more than a decade on East 6th Avenue.
The number remains 303-399-4564.
WALKER’S INTERIOR DESIGN AND ART
The former art shop at 1708 E. Sixth Ave. has closed after a 30-year run.
Send business news to Jeanne@lifeoncaphill.com.
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