Cafe Society

Gelman's Restaurant and Bar to close and reopen as a seafood spot

Gelman's Restaurant and Bar has been turning out American classics like burgers and wedge salads and veal meatloaf since November 2005. Now it's last call: The restaurant will be closing its doors on June 27 to make way for a new concept the Gelman Group is creating, a seafood restaurant, slated to open in the same space at 2911 West 38th Avenue in July.

"It's bittersweet," says owner Michelle Gelman. "We have a lot of loyal regulars, and we're mourning this phase with them."

Gelman says the shift is a reflection of the abundance of quality seafood now available in Denver. The native New Englander has long wanted to bring the Front Range a taste of her home -- and now she can. The new restaurant will be casual with a full bar, drawing on famous New England seafood spots like Legal Sea Foods.

That's not the only project the Gelman Group has going, though. It's also acquired a building at 40th and Tejon, which is being remodeled into an Italian grill with Mediterranean coastal influences. "It's an Italian neighborhood, so we wanted to provide a unique Italian offering," says Gelman.

That restaurant, which should open in October, will have almost half of its space cordoned off for banquets, in a space that will be able to accommodate eighty-plus people.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk