In 2013, the restaurant space at 1294 South Broadway that had struggled as Bistro One and then 3 Monkeys Cantina reopened as Adelitas Cocina y Cantina under the ownership of Brian Rossi. Almost instantly, the Mexican restaurant gained a neighborhood following and became a favorite for its well-made margaritas, deep list of tequila and mezcal, a Taco Tuesday as tightly packed as a pan of enchiladas, and a menu that just kept getting better and better.
Over the years, Rossi added to the Adelitas family, with Oaxacan-themed bar Palenque Mezcaleria taking over a back-alley space behind the original restaurant in 2016, and a second Adelitas springing up in 2018 at 2609 Main Street in Littleton (in the former home of Merle's). During that time, we've bestowed many a Best of Denver award on the trio, including Best House Margarita for Adelitas its first year in business (with several repeats) and Best New Bar of 2017 for Palenque.
But a desire to differentiate the two businesses will soon result in a name change at the second Adelitas in Littleton. Early this month, Rossi posted a statement on Facebook stating that "we have decided to grow and evolve as an independent, family-owned establishment and are changing the name of our beautiful restaurant. We are excited to introduce Palenque Cocina y Agaveria."
While plans to change the paint and art inside the Littleton location have been postponed, Ross promised that "our team will continue to offer the same delicious Mexican food and drink menu, incredible daily specials, special events and the excellent customer service you love so much."
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According to Rossi, the original Palenque is likely to change names later this year, too. For now, of course, that bar is closed, and Rossi is focusing on bringing the Littleton restaurant back online. While the original Adelitas immediately started offering tasty to-go margs after Governor Jared Polis made that possible, the Littleton location closed for a few days to regroup.
This week, it reopened for takeout and to-go, with a focus on local producers. You can even order bottle service and have a live Zoom meeting/virtual tasting with some of Rossi's favorite producers/distillers, including the "most interesting man in the world," a fifth-generation tequilero from the Sauza famiily, Guillermo Sauza. Rossi is even planning virtual tours of Mexico.
And for fans of that fantastic house margarita, know that the "agaveria" in the restaurant's proposed new name refers to agave, the plant that's the base of tequila and mezcal, so the focus on Mexican spirits will continue at Palenque Cocina y Agaveria.
But for now, it's still Adelitas, offering takeout from noon to 8 p.m. today. Order yours by calling 303-778-1294,