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Ernie's opens in northwest Denver, now it's on to Congress Park

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Ernie's will open on schedule today, after a whirlwind renovation by Rod Wagner of the space that for years held 3 Sons, and for decades before that was home to Ernie's. But while the original Ernie's -- which opened in 1943 and whose sign has been reconstructed for the new Ernie's -- was known for its fried chicken, this incarnation specializes in pizza. The kind of East Coast pizza that chef/partner Sean Kelly remembers so fondly, as well as an array of appetizing, $4 tidbits (beets, whitefish, mushrooms) that should make Ernie's a popular place for grazing in this northwest Denver neighborhood.

But the partners who brought us Ernie's -- and the LoHi SteakBar and Billy's Inn before that -- aren't resting. Led by Joe Vostrejs, who's been instrumental in revitalizing Larimer Square, they'll be before the Denver Department of Excise and License at 6 p.m. today for a hearing on their liquor-license application for a space at 1222 Madison Street

If what they've done at Ernie's is any indication, any spot they put on Madison would be a bonus for the Congress Park neighborhood.

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