Word of Mouth

Den Deli will turn into Ototo Food & Wine Bar

Look for Den Deli, the sibling of Sushi Den and Izakaya Den that opened last fall at 1501 South Pearl Street, then closed last month for a remodel, to unveil its new look within the next few weeks.

"Remodeling has been going well, and we expect to reopen by mid-November," reports Yasu Kizaki, who owns the restaurants with his brother, Toshi. "The inspiration for doing the remodel at Den Deli is twofold. The first bit of news is that we received a liquor license for our third restaurant. With this in hand, we can expand the menu offerings to include good wine and sake selections. We are also introducing new dishes while keeping the most popular items from the previous menus. This new menu change is spearheaded by our executive chef, Darren Pusateri at Izakaya Den."

When it reopens, Den Deli will have a new name: Ototo Food & Wine Bar. "In the northern part of rural Japan," Yasu explains, "young children call fish 'odot.' However, since it is the dialect, my brother, Toshi, who is our master chef at our restaurant, has heard the name 'Ototo.' This Japanese word also sounds very similar to another word that means 'younger brother.' Since Izakaya Den is called Sushi Den's 'sister restaurant,' we thought this would be a great name for the new expansion."

And Ototo isn't the only project the brothers have in the works. "We are extremely excited about the fact that we have purchased our own farm in Brighton, called Den Farm, to grow our own organic produce for all three restaurants," Yasu adds. "Darren has already been making a daily visit to our Den Farm to harvest vegetables."

Watch them grow.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun