When people ask me what I'd like to see more of in Denver, which is a question I pose every week to the chefs I interview, my immediate response is more restaurants that are open on Sunday and Monday nights. In fact, I was recently having that same discussion with Jeff Osaka, the owner-chef of twelve, and apparently I'm not the only one who was begging Osaka to extend his hours, because on February 24, he'll be open seven nights a week, having added Sunday and Monday night feasts to his lineup. Hallelujah!
"I think the Ballpark neighborhood has come into its own, and business in this neighborhood is really up-and-coming, so it makes sense to open seven nights a week," says Osaka, noting, too, that 1,000 apartments and lofts are being built within a few blocks from his twelve.
And restaurants and watering holes, he adds, like the Populist, Amerigo and the Infinite Monkey Theorem have all benefited from the influx of increased traffic. "Sundays are still a little sleepy down here, but with the increase in housing that's available, and all the new places opening, I expect a lot more foot traffic in the neighborhood."
Osaka says he's wanted to offer dinner seven nights a week for a while, but he needed to assemble a formidable back-and-front-of-the-house crew to make it come to fruition. "We finally have a staff in here to absorb those extra days," he says.
Twelve, which features a new menu each month (hence the name) has always trumpeted one of the best dining out deals in Denver: a $38 prix fixe board Tuesday through Thursday -- and what makes it even better is the fact that there are usually six starters, six main dishes and five desserts from which to choose -- in other words, the entire menu.
And Osaka will continue to offer that same killer deal, but he'll change the nights to Monday through Wednesday to expand his reach. "A lot of the industry crowd goes out on Mondays, so we want to give them a good deal, too," he explains, adding that given his new hours and prix fixe format, "no one has an excuse to not dine at twelve."
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I couldn't agree more.