Late last week, we broke the news that Living the Sweet Life, a bakery in LoHi, had shuttered, but the space already has new occupants, namely a cartel of sausage slingers -- they who own the Über Sausage, a diminutive frankfurter house on East Colfax that opened in 2011 across from East High School. And now there's two.
"We started looking at locations late last summer," says Marco Macchiaroli, who shares ownership in the sausage hut with Alex Gschwend, Brad Arguello and Henry DeMatteis. And this particular location -- 1535 Central Street -- he adds, which is right next door to Masterpiece Deli, was ideal. "I love this neighborhood, I love the restaurants over there and there's just such great synergy, and I think we can add to that positive synergy," says Macchiarol, who began lease negotiations with Sweet Life owner Erica Cunha, in November of last year. "Erica just had a baby and wasn't sure which direction she wanted to go in terms of the restaurant, so she called me, we talked and here we are."
The two-level, commercial condo space, which is 850-square-feet -- double the size of the original Über Sausage -- will feature, says Macchiaro, a very similar menu, the major difference, its size. "We'll continue to upgrade the menu by adding a few more sandwiches and salads," but for the most part, it'll remain the same," he notes, adding that the most notable changes will be the addition of breakfast and a beer and wine license, neither of which are available at the Colfax store.
"We'll serve breakfast -- sausage sandwiches and waffles -- along with lunch and dinner every day, and we're planning to have a half dozen or so German and Belgian beers, both on tap and by the bottle, to complement the menu," says Macchiaro. "We're super-excited to pair our food with really great beers." In fact, the goal, he adds, is to mimic, as much as possible, a beer garden. "The majority of the tables will be communal wooden tables -- we're huge fans of the that social aspect -- giving people the opportunity to sit down, have a beer and a sausage and get to know each other."
And that community vibe will spill onto the patio, too, where additional tables -- all communal, as well -- will be enclosed by a fence. "We really want our guests to talk and have a good time, and we're hoping that what we build is a neighborhood place that has beer garden appeal," explains Macchiaro, who notes that he and his partners won't do much to the interior, other than some reconfiguring. "It's pretty much a turnkey restaurant, and everything we're doing is cosmetic," he says, noting that they're striving for a "cool, urban, hip look with lots of reclaimed rustic woods."
The acquisition of the space was boosted by a $50,000 business development loan that Über Sausage received from the Denver Office of Economic Development. In 2012, the restaurant was a top ten finalist in the City's Denver's JumpStart Biz Plan Program, a contest offered through the Denver Office of Economic Development, which honors small businesses that show innovation, sound business strategies and growth potential. "We didn't win the final award, but Paul Washington, who's the executive director, has been a loyal customer and advocate of ours for as long as we've been open on Colfax, and I think he truly believes in us," says Macchiaro. So much so, that Über Sausage was given $50,000 to invest in the business and employ new staff. "It's a big deal on a lot of levels, and a great endorsement of our concept -- that moral support is so important, and they've been nothing but generous," acknowledges Macchiaro, who will hire two new employees as part of the City's generosity.
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When Über Sausage opens -- the target date is March 1 -- it'll also cater, once summer kicks in, to a late-night crowd on Friday and Saturday nights. "The plan is to stay open until 2 a.m. on the weekends during the summer months to catch the after-bar crowd," says Macchiaro, who also reveals that the owners of Über Sausage are negotiating leases on two additional high-volume spaces.