"Just take a walk around Denver and you'll encounter a variety of regional and international cuisines that are unparalleled anywhere else in the state; everything is represented here, even Peruvian," says Pepe Aparicio, the chef and co-owner of Taita Peruvian Cuisine & Bar, a restaurant that he opened just over a year ago in Capitol Hill with his brother, Gianfranco. And soon Cherry Creek will get a taste of Aparicio's Peruvian culinary culture, when he opens Pikkas in the former Abrusci's space.
See also: Photos: Taita Peruvian Cuisine & Bar
"There's Japanese food, Mexican food and Indian food in Cherry Creek, but no Peruvian restaurants, so why not open there?" reasons Aparicio. "I think my concept will be good in Cherry Creek."
And the concept, he says, will be similar to that of Taita. "It'll be an exciting twist on Taita, with a Peruvian-fusion menu, tapas happy hour, a cool bar with an extensive selection of pisco cocktails and mojitos, and an elevated wine list," he reveals.
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The interior, he notes, will be updated, but the changes are minor: He'll replace the existing carpet with hardwoods, modernize the outdated bar, adjust the seating flow and add Peruvian-inspired furnishings. The aesthetics, he adds, will mimic Taita's vibrant color scheme of orange and yellow. "We'll also have a beautiful patio with couches and fireplaces to warm you up on the coolers months, and we'll feature local artwork on our walls," says Aparicio.
"Peruvian food is among the best in the world, and this is going to be a unique and innovative concept where guests can enjoy a wide variety of pisco, salads, seafood and meats," explains Aparicio. "I'm doing the same original recipes that have been used for more than 200 years, but I'm adding my own personal touches and a lot of love, which will hopefully add up to an experience of a lifetime."
Pikkas will be open seven days a week for lunch, happy hour and dinner, and Aparicio is targeting an early November opening.