Cafe Society

News of Madison Street's opening riles up Congress Park neighbors

The Larimer Associates and operating partner Brian Sifferman, of Larimer Square's Corridor 44, haven't even opened the doors to Madison Street, their newest project at 1222 Madison Street, and already they're getting all kinds of flack from the neighbors, many of whom don't want to see the space, which promises to serve up fried chicken and fish tacos in addition to green chile-laden burgers and fried pickles, move in and make changes in the 'hood.

Comments keep rolling in from readers who, despite the group's record of success with creating spots that feel like they've been in the neighborhood forever, fear the new restaurant will change the fabric of the street, luring in drinkers and pushing out local businesses.

Oddly, a few of those commenters are lamenting the future demise of Dominos Pizza, which will close at 3509 East Twelfth Avenue and move to a location near 40th and Colorado Boulevard when its lease is up -- sometime within the next few months.

Maybe we're missing something, but it's shocking that residents of a vibrant Denver neighborhood think it's problematic to replace a corporate chain that knocks out borderline inedible food with a locally owned joint, whose owners have a consistent track record of providing good food and good drinks. And it's equally implausible that people are complaining about drinkers coming to a bar, while defending the nearby liquor store that serves, oh yeah, wait, booze -- to drinkers.

Like it or not, Madison Street opens for business on Wednesday.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk