Cobbler's Corner, at West 44th Avenue and Alcott Street in Sunnyside, has slowly been filling its retail gaps — but since Cheese + Provisions and Bacon Social House opened there last fall, we've been keeping our eye on one conspicuous restaurant vacancy. As it turns out, Brendan McManus, owner of the two Lucky Pie Pizza & Taphouse locations — in Louisville and on the 16th Street Mall — has claimed the space and will open a regional Mexican restaurant in the spot.
James Samara, director of operations for Lucky Pie and partner in the new project, says the new eatery will be called El Jefe and will focus on Oaxacan and Yucatecan cuisine. He also notes that the menu, like that of Lucky Pie, will be dedicated to farm-fresh, organic and Colorado-grown meats and produce. "Those are the company values we roll with," he explains.
McManus and Samara had come up with the concept for El Jefe three and a half years ago but hadn't been able to find a physical location that fit their vision. Two months ago, though, they discovered the spot in Cobbler's Corner, developed by Paul Tamburello's Generator real-estate group and Jack Pottle (whose family at one time owned a shoe-repair shop on the corner), and signed a lease.
"The Sunnyside neighborhood is up and coming, and we're excited by the neighborhood's energy," says Samara, who adds that he and McManus both live nearby. While the lease has been signed, the group is still in the permitting process with the city, so Samara says that they don't expect to open El Jefe for several months.
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McManus opened the original Lucky Pie at 637 Front Street in Louisville in 2010; Samara joined him to open the LoDo pizzeria (which takes up part of the space once occupied by Dixons) in 2012.