Las Delicias is one of the city's most successful Den-Mex stories.
Robert and Norma Torres opened their little storefront Mexican eatery in 1976 at 439 East 19th Avenue; it was a quick hit with hospital workers in the neighborhood, and over the years the restaurant kept expanding along the block, adding room after room. In 2015 it closed altogether for a major upgrade, complete with a second-floor outdoor deck, reopening almost two years later as Las Delicias Uptown.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Over the decades, though, other Las Delicias outposts kept opening. The northern location at 7610 Conifer Road, just off Broadway, has been a longtime favorite with fans of hot green chile who don't like lines...and love free parking. While Glendale residents still mourn the passing of the Riviera, a classic dive at 4501 East Kentucky Avenue, it was replaced in the late ’90s by a brand-spanking-new Las Delicias (though the classic neon Riv sign remains) that continues to draw crowds, as does the Las Delicias spot at 19553 Mainstreet in Parker.
Other expansion efforts were less successful. The LoDo Las Delicias at 1530 Blake Street was replaced early on by D'Corazon, which is owned by an offspring of the Torres family but is unrelated to the chain. And the Las Delicias at 92 East Arapahoe Road in Littleton, which had been serving authentic Den-Mex in the southern suburbs for over a decade, closed just last month. A sign in the window announces that "We've moved," but no new Las Delicias outlet has appeared on the metro Denver dining scene to replace it; the homegrown chain is down to four links.
The building, which was purchased for just over $1 million by an anonymous donor, according to the Littleton Independent, will become the home of TLC Meals on Wheels, which lost its longtime home at the defunct Ames Elementary, now slated to be scraped.