Oh, meaty joy! After a year and a half of searching for its first central Denver location, Tony’s Market has finally sealed the deal on the former Planned Parenthood office building, 950 Broadway, right across the street from Westword.
The 53-year-old building (formerly a car dealership) was the frequent scene of anti-abortion protesters, who liked to gather there despite the fact that it was just office space. Planned Parenthood sold the building to Denver-based Hyder Construction in April and moved into its new Stapleton facility earlier this month.
And although we’ll miss watching the protesters from our newsroom windows, we are more than thrilled with the Tony’s announcement, especially since the repeat Westword Best Of Denver award winner plans to open a bistro in the new spot with indoor and outdoors seating and serve a full menu along with beer and wine, says head chef and marketing manager Mick Rosacci (son of company founder Tony Rosacci).
An institution in the south suburbs since the Rosacci family opened its first tiny butcher shop on Dry Creek Road thirty years ago, Tony’s now draws customers from all over the metro area to its three locations. In addition to all-natural cuts of meat, the stores also sell all kinds of specialty foods, along with ready-made meals and sandwiches.
For more on Tony’s menu, see our Café Society blog.
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But the new, 15,000-square-foot spot – which could open in early 2009 -- will take Tony’s even further, Mick Rosacci says. “We are thrilled at the location,” he points out, since the daytime crowds in central Denver could be bigger than Tony’s three other stores combined. “We could do really well right off the bat.”
Tony’s had considered an empty space at eighth and Broadway, but backed out earlier this year and took the unusual step of taking out a large advertisement along the bottom of the front page of the Rocky Mountain News’ business section announcing its search for a new location. The Hyder deal, which was locked in Tuesday, July 29, after Tony’s got its financing, will also include a loan from the Denver Office of Economic Development.
Hyder Construction plans to move its own headquarters to the second floor of the building and lease the third floor to another office tenant, says company president Tom McLagan; “It’s a phenomenal neighborhood.” Hyder will also turn the empty lot to the north into a ninety-space parking lot with an elevated to the second floor, he says.
Welcome to the neighborhood. – Jonathan Shikes