"I was always checking in," says Paul Tamburello, who redeveloped the Olinger property. "One day Dave said,
'Dude, we've got to do something down here; every time we tell people our restaurant is in Highland, they go to Highland Square." And that development on West 32nd Avenue was miles away from the corner of 16th and Boulder streets, which is right on the lower edge of what had once been the actual town of Highland.
"It kept going on and on and on, and we started brainstorming names," Tamburello remembers. "We kicked around a bunch of names, and started calling it the LoHi Marketplace."
The name just applied to the Olinger complex. But no more than a month later, Tamburello heard that a realtor had used the term "LoHi" in an ad. Then it showed up in more ads, and on businesses in the area. "We never branded it, it took off so fast," Tamburello says. "Next thing you know, we're in LoHi."
And the next thing Denver knew, LoHi was booming; the number of restaurants and bars in the area doubled in just a few years, then tripled; Tamburello added his own Little Man Ice Cream to the LoHi Marketplace, and redeveloped another Olinger building that today includes Linger as well as retail shops. And business in what's now almost universally, if unofficially, known as LoHi continues to boom.
Not everyone appreciated the changes. A historian told Tamburello that the nickname had destroyed the neighborhood. Whatever that neighborhood might be.
"What are the boundaries?" ponders Tamburello. "I don't really know."
Just look for the giant milk can. Welcome to LoHi.