Openings and Closings

Bruno's Takes Over Former Home of Mario's Ocean Club

Bruno's is coming to Broadway.
Bruno's is coming to Broadway. Mark Antonation
The cozy restaurant space at 560 South Broadway has seen a number of incarnations over the years, including My Big Fat Greek Restaurant and the Chowder Room. After the owners of that seafood joint moved to California, Mario Vega took over with Mario's Ocean Club, but he sold his eatery earlier this summer, telling us that the purchaser was an Italian restaurant with a long history in Denver.

A new banner at the address reveals the identity of the new tenant: Bruno's Italian Bistro. That's the same Bruno's that served up classic Italian fare at 2223 South Monaco Parkway for more than twenty years. Bruno's was originally opened in the early 1990s by restaurateurs Mel and Janie Master, who reigned back then as Denver's premier restaurant power couple; the chef was an up-and-coming Frank Bonanno, who moved to Mel's Bar & Grill in Cherry Creek when the Masters sold Bruno's to Tom Mirabito in 1997.

Bruno's closed in east Denver in 2018, but will soon reopen on South Broadway, on a block that hasn't managed to achieve the same level of renaissance as the Baker neighborhood a few blocks north (even if the Blue Bonnet and Imperial Chinese Restaurant have called the stretch home for many years).

With the addition of the Broadway Roxy next door earlier this summer, maybe it's a fine time for Bruno's to make its comeback with classic Italian cuisine. Meanwhile, Vega is working on opening Lake House Kitchen, which is taking over the Lucha Cantina space at 8026 West Bowles Avenue in Littleton.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation