Cafe Society

Comfort Cafe opening now set for next week

Comfort Cafe, one of Denver's forthcoming pay-what-you-can restaurants, won't be opening its doors this week as originally planned. It's looking more like next week, says Jan Bezuidenhout, the brains (and much of the brawn) behind the restaurant, located at 3945 Tennyson Street.

"There's just a tremendous amount of red tape," Bezuidenhout explains, while mentioning that inspectors come in today to look things over. Still, she reports, "We're making quick progress."

The non-profit Comfort Cafe will serve comfort foods inspired by family recipes Bezuidenhout has accumulated over the years as CEO of Namaste Hospice. Think casseroles, soups, salads and homemade breads.

To help get the restaurant off the ground, Bezuidenhout, who owns the building and put together the restaurant's board, called upon the expertise of Denise Cerreta, who opened One World Everybody Eats, a popular pay-what-you-want restaurant in Salt Lake City.

As she has done with other restaurants -- including Denver's SAME Cafe -- Cerreta came to town recently to help get the Comfort Cafe up and running. It's part of One World Everybody Eats' mission to consult restaurateurs aspiring to follow their pay-what-you-can model.

Bezuidenhout says she and partners Sandy Corlett and Barbara McGhee are ready to get moving, and already have the first week's menu ready. "We're chomping at the bit to get going," she says.