Cook's Fresh Market is freshening up with booths, espresso and booze

Sometime in January, Ed and Kristi Janos, proprietors of Cook's Fresh Market, will rip out the counter-length cheese case and replace it with a vertical case, using the extra space to put in booths for the bistro and market. They will also add an espresso bar stocked with Illy coffee, and, hopefully, by March, have their liquor license to serve beer and wine.

Asked about the changes, Ed explains, "We'd like to spruce up the dining room and make it less sterile -- more comfortable." In addition, Ed says that offering espresso will complement the pastry and breakfast items, and an espresso bar will help accommodate the throngs of travelers coming through Denver for conventions. He chose Illy over local brands like Novo coffee for the same reason.

"It was a dilemma," he says. "Go with local or huge brand recognition. No one's serving Illy, and it's a great product that people who are staying here will recognize." The liquor license is a work in progress, but Ed is optimistic: "We're at the twenty yard line, maybe the twenty-five, and we'll probably have it by the end of February or the beginning of March," he says, adding that his attorneys are finishing up the paperwork.

Cook's is a great stop amid the bustle of the 16th Street Mall for a gourmet sandwich or sit-down meal in the bistro, or for shoppers to grab a bunch of seasonal fresh veggies or a wedge of cheese to take home.

"We're just trying to feed the public some good, honest, simple food," says Ed. "We aren't pretentious."

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