By Jonathan Shikes
By Alex Brown
By Cafe Society
By Samantha Alviani
By Lori Midson
By Mark Antonation
By Loren Lorenzo
By Nate Hemmert
At this point, Allee handed the phone off to Brunson, wanting me to reassure his partner that everything had been good, that I wasn't about to kneecap them in print. And that's what I did, telling him the review was a complete crush note and how, at its best, Masterpiece feels like you're hanging out with a bunch of chefs at home, at a party, and all of a sudden they decide to start making sandwiches out of whatever excellent stock is lying around. I told Brunson how I'd been worried about the whole chefs-open-sandwich-shop rumor, how I was concerned that the specifics of their background were never mentioned. Apparently, that's because no one had asked for the specifics. "I like to say we're all chefs in God's eyes, dude," Brunson said, and he was laughing, too.
Since their business is about to go from popular to insanely popular, they might want to talk to God about sending a couple more cooks their way. And if not God, then maybe Alex Seidel.
Leftovers: In the Masterpiece Deli neighborhood, rumors were rampant that the recently vacated North Star Brewery space at 3200 Tejon Street had already been snapped up by Joe Vostrejs, Jeff Hermanson and Rod Wagner — the Larimer Square gang, in part, and the crew most recently behind the resurrection of Billy's Inn, at 4403 Lowell Boulevard. So late last week, I put in a call to Vostrejs, who was more than a little surprised to hear from me.
1575 Central St.
Denver, CO 80211
Region: Northwest Denver
"Man, the rumor mill must be going full-tilt," he said, stammering a little. "That's not supposed to be out there yet..."
But because it was out there (and because Vostrejs is a gentleman when it comes to these things), he told me that the rumor is true: He and his partners had picked up not just the brewpub, but the entire building. "We have the building under contract and are doing our due diligence," he explained. This acquisition will get them some retail space and three apartments in addition to North Star. And though no tenant for the restaurant space has yet been identified, Vostrejs knows it's just a matter of time.
"Hey," he said. "Maybe once you put it out there, my phone will start to ring."
Consider it done.
Down in LoDo, even though chef Scott Durrah and wife Wanda James (a political activist and a member of Barack Obama's Colorado finance team) were pushing hard to get their new 8 Rivers location, at 1550 Blake Street, open in time for the DNC (check out the August 15 Cafe Society blog for details), they didn't quite make it. Too bad, because Durrah's award-winning Caribbean/Jamaican cuisine would seem a perfect fit for summer. Now it looks as though he's banking on a mid-September opening. Meanwhile, a few doors away, at 1526 Blake, Blake Street Vault did manage to open its doors this past week.
And finally, a bit of good news for those as depressed as I am over the coming "revitalization" of Alameda Square. Several of the great little businesses that operate along the long edge of the Square (namely, Super Star Asian and Pho 99) will be temporarily relocated during the tear-down and construction, but then welcomed back once the dust settles. Brighton Corp., the company behind the redevelopment, will allegedly foot the bill for this round of dim sum hide-and-seek, but there's no word yet on exactly where these businesses will be relocated — or how many will take the developer up on the deal.