Last Monday, everyone driving down Broadway knew that something bad was going on. Traffic was backed up for blocks, cars were going nowhere fast. And when they did finally make it to the block that holds both Deluxe and Delite, the reason for the jam became clear--both of those places had caught fire.
And I don't mean that in any kind of hyperbolic way, even though they're both hot destinations. I mean they were actually on fire. And the several Denver fire trucks there to extinguish said fire (and, in the process, save two of the neighborhood's best restaurants) were what was snarling all the traffic and screwing up everyone's commute.
Although both restaurants suffered some damage, most of that damage was confined to the back of the houses -- in the chef's offices and storage rooms. When I showed up on the scene to talk to chef/owner Dylan Moore, he told me that, all things considered, the fire hadn't been all that bad and that he was hoping to get open the next day.
Of course, when I called the next day, I got no answer at either of the two locations. Same thing the day after that. According to Moore, while he'd been cleared by all the inspectors and could've opened to the public, there was one serious complication:
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Neither restaurant had any gas or power, meaning "no heat, no lights, no way to cook," Moore told me. He explained that whenever there's a fire, all the gas and electrical to the affected building is killed, and it took him a couple of days to get all that straightened out and everything turned back on. He also had to have his front doors fixed (the firemen hadn't exactly knocked and waited politely before going in) and his carpets cleaned. All of this took a little bit longer than he'd been anticipating when I first talked to him on that fiery Monday afternoon.
Still, Moore did manage to get both Deluxe and Delite back into service on Thursday evening -- which isn't a bad turn-around considering they'd been, you know...ON FIRE just 72 hours prior. "It's been a long, strange week," Moore told me when I talked to him this morning. Followed by a strange weekend. "We did okay," he added. "It was down a bit, but I'd been turning people away for two days, begging them to come back later, and a lot of them did."
Better late than never.