Construction Watch

La Loma Will Move Into Trinity Grille Space in April

Ten days ago, La Loma announced that later this year, it would be leaving its home perched high on a hill in Jefferson Park, and moving to a spot downtown while it builds a new home by the Denver Aquarium. Now La Loma's owners have revealed where that downtown location will be: 1801 Broadway, a space that's actually right across from the Brown Palace on Tremont Street, which has been home to the Trinity Grille since 1982.

The Trinity Grille closed this past weekend. Now Boss Architecture, the northwest Denver firm hired by La Loma to renovate the downtown space as well as design the flagship restaurant by the Denver Aquarium, will completely gut the space and renovate it to resemble the current La Loma at 2527 West 26th Avenue, with brick on the walls, wood floors (replacing the Trinity's tile) and even roofing that mimics the look of the original, which will continue serving through April 3.

In the week following that, La Loma's owners will remove everything they can — the bar in the front room, the tortilla machine, the Western art on the walls, the portrait of Grandma Savina Mendoza, who created the original green chile recipe — and move all of that to the renovated Tremont Street space, where La Loma will reopen on April 11, with the same menu and the same staff.

The downtown space is only slightly smaller than the current restaurant: Designed for maximum efficiency, it will seat 160 compared to 185. Mark Brinkerhoff, a partner with his father, William, in the restaurant and the third generation of his family to run La Loma, says that they may even try to create a patio out front, to replace the one they'll lose in Jefferson Park. As for that building, it's slated to be scraped and replaced by a fifteen-story tower with 713 units.

As regulars learned that La Loma would be leaving the hill where it's stood since 1981, they had "mixed feelings," reports Carlen Daniels, director of operations for La Loma. "They're reassured when they hear we're taking almost everything with us."

Plans for the location in the Platte Valley were already in the works when the Brinkerhoffs learned of the possibility of moving La Loma into the Trinity space. "It meant we'd still be able to provide food while building the new restaurant," says Daniels. But it's more than a temporary move; La Loma has a ten-year lease on the former Trinity site downtown, which they plan to keep going even after the new restaurant is up and running by the Denver Aquarium, ideally in the spring of 2017.

And in the meantime, what happens to the Bronco bus that's proved such a winner at La Loma on game days? "If we have demand for it, we'll have it," Mark Brinkerhoff says.

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.
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