There's never been a particularly compelling reason for Denverites to waste their mileage on traveling to restaurants in Lakewood, unless you were headed to Cafe Bisque, a vibrant cafe that managed to make a longstanding name for itself with its stellar brunch menu that eventually expanded into dinner. But early last month, Cafe Bisque shuttered, leaving west side suburbanites with a culinary gap in a culinary wasteland.
But not so for Cherry Creek North, which is where Cafe Bisque -- now Bisque -- is relocating. "Here's the deal: I couldn't negotiate a lease on the Lakewood space, and a lot of our clientele has always been the Cherry Creek crowd, so it made sense for us to look for a space down there," says chef/co-owner Gino Marrone, who will open Bisque, along with his existing business partner, Patty Gurevich, in mid-November in the former Eco Burger space, at 2817 East Third Avenue.
"This space -- and this neighborhood -- gives me a chance to grow my restaurant, which was never going to happen in Lakewood, and I think this location fits with my personality. Plus, it's just a beautiful space that also boasts the best intimate patio in Cherry Creek," says Marrone. "We've done what we've done forever, and it's time to move forward and give Bisque a new life and bring it up to a whole new energy level, and I think our style -- my style -- will fit in very well in Cherry Creek," he predicts, adding that while Bisque will continue to serve brunch and lunch, his primary focus will be dinner.
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"We do a fabulous brunch -- and we'll continue to do that -- but we're also trying to get away from the 'cafe' part, which means that we're going to really concentrate on delivering fabulous and delicious but recognizable food at dinner with a lot of global flavors," he says. "I guess you could call my food New American, but I like to call it American rustic, and one of the most important things to me," he stresses, is that "people don't have to ask what's on the plate. I like simplicity."
The two-tiered quarters, notes Marrone, will undergo a transformation, and while Eco Burger didn't utilize the upstairs room, Marrone says he plans to build a bar up there, where he'll also serve food. "The upstairs is great, and I want to create a nice atmosphere with an intimate setting, where people can eat and drink," he says.
Marrone hopes to get Bisque open on November 15. "That's our goal, but I want to do this right, and I've been waiting for this opportunity for a long time, and I don't want to screw it up, so we'll open when everything is ready," he says.