The Gravitas Development Group has been behind quite a few of Denver's hottest restaurant projects this year. Gravitas is the company responsible for the shipping-container project at 2500 Larimer Street that houses Work & Class and Cart-Driver, and it also built out the neighboring spaces on Tennyson Street that are home to Block & Larder, which opened earlier this month, and the Royal, a burger bar set to open on Saturday. But even in this incredible year of restaurant openings, not everything goes as planned. The latest Gravitas project, a five-story building in LoHi, will feature a new concept from restaurateur Justin Cucci, but is losing the ground-floor sushi bar Mizu.
The new building, tucked behind Linger and Little Man Ice Cream on Umatilla Street, is being built with two restaurant spaces, one of which had been claimed by Mizu, an ambitious, modern sushi bar from the owner of East Moon Asian Bistro & Sushi in Westminster. Since Mizu is no longer part of the project, the 1,900 square-foot space is now back on the market.
The top floor of the building has been claimed by Justin Cucci, owner of Root Down and Linger; his new restaurant is scheduled to open there in the summer of 2015. (The three middle floors are office space.)
While the Royal was originally scheduled to open today, minor last-minute delays have pushed the opening to Saturday. Owners Josh Epps and Christina Smith, who also own the two Jelly Cafes in Denver, are opening the Royal with families in mind, noting what they see as a lack of family-friendly neighborhood eateries in the area.
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Epps notes that the main outdoor sign for the Royal has been delayed, too, so if you're going this weekend, look for the burger bar's decal on the big front window.