The restaurant at the corner of Lincoln and East 20th Avenue is sending out some confusing signals at the moment — but that should clear up in a few days. Right now there are signs on the building for both Gumba's Italian Kitchen and Delhi Darbar
. As it turns out, the ownership of the restaurant is making a quick concept swap from Italian to Indian.
Gumba's, the first brick-and-mortar version of the food truck of the same name, had been in the works for the better part of last year and finally opened on December 27, according to general manager Ben Kush. But the main partner behind the Italian concept left the group, so the four remaining partners, veterans of Denver's Indian restaurant scene, decided to do what they know best.
The name Delhi Darbar may sound familiar to downtowners: It was previously located at 1514 Blake Street but closed a decade ago (that address is now Hapa Sushi), so this is version 2.0. The transition will be completed over the weekend, so beginning Monday you'll be able to hit Delhi Darbar's daily lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and enjoy standard dinner service during evening hours.
The kitchen was originally built to accommodate a prepared foods market, so it's more than big enough for Delhi Darbar's needs. With a pizza oven and other kitchen equipment already on site, the owners will continue to operate a takeout-only pizza and Italian-food side called Hands Down Pizza, accessible from a separate entrance on East 20th Avenue.
The space is in a somewhat awkward location on the eastern edge of downtown, but with new apartments going up across the street and plenty of pedestrian traffic, it seems like the right concept could do well. Although there's currently no on-site parking, Kush says Delhi Darbar's owners are working with the landlord (who also owns several surrounding parking lots) to remedy that situation. In the meantime, the parking meters on the north side of the building are some of the only ones left in Denver with five-hour limits.
Not that you'll need to park for five hours, unless you plan on hitting the lunch buffet and then hanging out in your car with a fresh, hot pizza.