The streets of the Cole and Whittier neighborhoods in north Denver are dotted with little corner shops and markets, some of which have been open for decades and others of which are recent arrivals. There's the Whittier Pub, at Race Street and East 28th Avenue (which took over the vacancy left when M&D's Cafe closed); the Plimoth, just east of York Street; and Los Molinos Mexican restaurant a few blocks north on Bruce Randolph Avenue. And earlier this year, a little takeout joint called Genna Rae's Wings and More opened at 1819 East 28th Avenue, just across Williams Street from Manual High School.
There you'll find owner Genn Dickerson and his sons cooking up Caribbean-inflected soul food, with fried fish, burgers, wings and barbecue on Saturdays. The tidy shop, barely big enough for an order counter and three wooden stools where you can sit while you wait for your order, is named after Dickerson's daughter; you can see her picture on the restaurant's business cards.
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Dickerson moved from the Virgin Islands to Denver in 1979 to attend auto mechanics school, but after a few years of working on cars, he realized that his true love was cooking. It's in his family, after all: Some of his siblings help run the Welton Street Cafe in Five Points not too many blocks away.
Wings are the specialty of the house, in hot, honey hot or honey barbecue sauces, but go when you're hungry for a Big Papa burger, a ten-ounce monster for only $8. Even the half-pound burgers come in at around $5 or $6. Proximity to the high school means that Genna Mae's also serves a Thunderbolt lunch special, with two sliders, fries and a drink for only $4.75.
Genna Rae's is open every day but Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dickerson says to call ahead (720-287-3523) so that your order will be hot and ready when you arrive.