Low Country Kitchen Opens in LoHi
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Steamboat Springs-born LOW Country Kitchen has opened the doors to its Denver outpost last night at 1575 A Boulder Street, in a space that Vita Restaurant called home for the past decade. The southern cuisine restaurant owned by husband and wife team Brian and Katie Vaughn seats 97-seat guests in a space that includes a dining room, bar, and private room seating. The capacity will double once the porch and roof top will open.

The interior, designed by Raw Creative and Katy Vaughn is light and airy, fusing modern lines with warm touches such as plantation shutter wallpaper, wicker chair community seating, and copper pendant lighting.

Like any self respecting southern eatery, LOW serves great fried chicken, jambalaya, and shrimp and grits, plus dishes like clams with house andouille sausage, a green tomato BLT, and a beet salad.

The bar is led by Quinton Bennett, formerly of Mercantile Dining & Provision, whose menu stretches from classics like Mint Juleps and Sazeracs and unique creations like the Pistachio Fizz and Charred Strawberry & Rhubarb Smash.

An industry food and beverage program will be introduced in mid-March to bring in those who work in Denver’s many restaurants. Also, keep LOW mind for Derby day this year - a cool bash is in the works.

The restaurant is open seven days a week for happy hour, dinner, and weekend brunch.

Sips: Zuni St. Brewing Company
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Centennial State is home to more than 200 craft breweries, but somehow, we don't complain when another one is added to the mix. Take, for example, the newest addition to Denver's suds scene, Zuni Street Brewing Company, which held its grand opening today. 

Zuni Street is the brainchild of two Colorado natives, Willy Truettner and TJ Slattery, who met as school lab partners when they were 12. Since then, Truettner attended the Siebel Institute of Technology's World Brewing Academy in Chicago and Munich, and worked at New Belgium Brewing Company, while Slattery pursued a business degree. Catching up over beers in 2014, the pair realized that they had complementary abilities for a balanced business partnership, and the brewery idea was born.

Denverites will feel right at home in the 3,500 square-foot-space, located on 29th Avenue and Zuni Street. The forest-esque decor included a hand-crafted wooden bar and a tree theme that runs throughout (think: a coat rack constructed out of branches). The brewery was formerly a solar-paneled auto mechanic shop, and it‘s equipped with eight garage doors that open to two separate patios on either side of the brewery; yard games such as corn hole and giant Jenga are, of course, available. “We’ve tried to create an outdoor feel that represents the Rocky Mountains and Colorado in an urban setting,” Slattery said.  “We hope our customer base is people who share a similar love and appreciation of the outdoors.”

Truettner's approach to brewing is also innately attuned to the Colorado lifestyle. His Sit'N Rock ale, an American pale, is brewed with wheat and offers a lively balance of hop and malt, making it the perfect companion for outdoor adventures. “It’s a beer I could sit and drink all day,” Truettner said. Zuni Street has seven beers available right now—Sit'N Rock ale, Zuni Street IPA, Portly Porter, Eva's Golden Ale, Midnight What?!, Way West Wit—and Truettner will add three more brews to the lineup in the near future. 

The brewery will also host food trucks adjacent to the south patio. For tonight's grand opening, Chibby Whibbitz will be on deck serving gourmet sliders, tacos, and sweet potato home fries. 

Zuni Street Brewing Company will be open Monday through Thursday from 2 to 10 p.m., Friday from 2 to 11 p.m., Saturday from noon to midnight, and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. 

3255 W. 29th Avenue, 303-515-0942

Hot LoHi lot sells for $10M; hotel plans scrapped
Thursday, January 26, 2017

It looks like LoHi won’t be getting a boutique hotel. But there’s plenty of room if you’re willing to pay by the month.

Mill Creek Residential bought a 16th Street site in LoHi from developer Charlie Woolley for $10 million, according to city records. The Texas-based company wants to build 129 apartments on the same dirt where Woolley had said he wanted to build a hotel.

In February last year, Woolley announced a $65 million project that would have been his firm’s first foray into the nightly room rental business. Plans called for a restaurant, rooftop deck, and ground-floor retail space, he told BusinessDen.

The parcel Woolley sold covers most of the 16th Street frontage between Boulder and Central streets. It hosts a 15,000-square-foot office building.

Woolley pieced together the property in at least three acquisitions between 2012 and 2013, city records show. Deals between Woolley’s firm and three different sellers over about 10 months totaled roughly $4.5 million.

Woolley did not return phone calls or an email requesting comment.

A rendering of the proposed apartments in LoHi.

A rendering of the proposed apartments in LoHi.

A lone site plan submitted in February 2016 is the last trace of Woolley’s hotel plans with the city planning department. Mill Creek, meanwhile, turned in its concept plan for a five-story apartment building in November 2016.

Its building would add 129 apartments to LoHi. Plans list 138 parking spaces, mostly in an underground deck. Mill Creek valued the project at $25 million and estimated a start date in September 2017.

Shears Adkins Rockmore is the architect listed on Mill Creek’s plans. Kimley-Horn is the engineer. Mill Creek’s Chris Schramm was on the plans submitted with the city, and Brian Wynne signed a pair of documents on behalf of the LLC that bought the LoHi parcel.

Neither returned phone messages by press time.

Mill Creek is busy in Denver, with at least two developments in the works in the RiNo area. And its LoHi project would be at least the second jumbo apartment complex by a major developer to fill the tight neighborhood overlooking Interstate 25.

The Dallas-based firm is building about three blocks from the former United Way site, where Southern Land Co. is constructing a 300-plus-unit complex. That building is rising at the corner of 18th and Central streets.

Corum Real Estate also is planning a 100-unit apartment building at the corner of Erie and 18th streets, about five blocks from Mill Creek’s site.

Developer Clears Offices for 100-unit Apartment Complex
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Another developer is getting ready to dig into LoHi.

Corum Real Estate plans to tear down a 40-year-old office building next month to make way for 100 new apartments. Vice president Eric Komppa hopes the $34 million complex will draw renters who want to live in LoHi without moving into a massive new building.

“We’re not trying to overwhelm the neighborhood, we’re trying to blend in,” Komppa said. “It’s a highly amenitized, smaller development that we think will be in a good position relative to other projects in the neighborhood.”

Corum will build on a 0.84-acre site at the corner of Erie and 18th streets. The firm bought the real estate for $6.2 million this week. The property includes an 18,000-square-foot office building built in 1972, according to city records.

Crepes 'n Crepes Coming to LoHi
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mell's Cheese carved out a new restaurant space at West 30th Avenue and Zuni Street in the fall of 2015 but made it only a year before closing up shop. The building has been vacant since November but will soon have a new tenant. Kathy Knight, co-owner of Crepes ’n Crepes, says that she and partner Alain Veratti are opening a third creperie in the space.

Barolo Grill Goes Casual With LoHi Project
Sunday, October 23, 2016

Avanti Food & Beverage is getting a new hot tenant: Chow Morso. Brainchild of Ryan Fletter of the iconic Barolo Grill, the casual eatery will bring Italian street food to the first floor space that is still Bixo Mexiterranean Bites. Fletter's partners in the venture are Darrel Truett, executive chef at Barolo, and Don Gragg, who worked at Barolo at its inception and has since worked at nationally recognized restaurants including Chez Panisse in Berkley, Calif. and Gramercy Tavern in New York City. At Chow Morso, Truett will serve as executive culinary director and Gragg will lead the Chow Morso team as executive chef.

Vita Has Given Up the Ghost in LoHi
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Is the space at 1575 Boulder Street in the Olinger Mortuary complex haunted? That's what some neighbors wondered as they walked past the crowds lined up at Little Man Ice Cream, or waited for a table at Linger or Lola. Meanwhile, just down the street, Vita often seemed as quiet as a tomb — despite coming on the scene with Max MacKissock as its opening chef, despite that lovely rooftop patio, despite trying live music and many menu variations.

Jezebel’s closes, frozen rosé for Breast Cancer Awareness and more dining headlines this week
Monday, October 10, 2016

Jezebel’s shutters in Highland
After four years at the corner of 33rd Avenue and Tejon Street, Jezebel’s Southern Bistro & Bar closed its doors on Oct. 9. The announcement was made by chef-owner Scott Durrah on the restaurant’s Facebook page. Durrah cited a decision to refocus his culinary efforts on a different endeavor. “This is not the end of our love affair with food, it is another beginning. Wanda and I have decided to focus entirely on changing the world through food and cannabis,” Durrah said in the post, by way of announcing the Simply Cooking Catering and Cooking School.

Chow Morso Opens in Avanti
Monday, October 3, 2016

Perhaps there are no two eateries in Denver as disparate as Barolo Grill and Avanti Food and Beverage. The former is more than 20 years old; the latter just celebrated its first birthday. Barolo offers special-occasion, high-end Italian fare and wine; Avanti’s food hall atmosphere skews more bustling bar and strolling dinner party with seven restaurant tenants.
—Photo by Rachel Adams

Ohana Island Kitchen Is A (Not So) Surprise Hit in LoHi
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Ohana Island Kitchen

A Summer for  Sliders: In a summer profile by 5280 Magazine, Callie Sumlin urges Denver diners to "go now" to the humble walk-up in LoHi. The succinct menu is crafted in testament to owner Louie Colburn's Japanese-Hawaiian heritage with light, "vibrant, summery fare" like mango-kale-quinoa salad and Spam musubi. Sumlin contends that diners line-up for the kalua pork sliders - complied of "tender pork, a crunchy corn and purple cabbage slaw, and Sriracha aioili" - as soon as they can: "make sure to go soon, as the Colburns haven't quite decided if they'll keep the Ohana window open when the weather gets colder."