Openings and Closings

Pizzeria Basta chef Kelly Whitaker opening Cart-Driver today in Ballpark

If you're like most Denver restaurant fans, you're already familiar with the shipping-container restaurant, retail and office venue named 25th & Larimer (because of its location at, um, 25th and Larimer streets). Just about every resident of this town has already fought for a seat at the crazily popular Work & Class, which opened in January across from Los Chingones and Sugarmill. Huckleberry Roasters helps keep things jumping in the 25th & Larimer complex, and today it will get an added boost from the opening of Cart-Driver, an Italian kitchen centered on fresh seafood and a wood-fired oven.

See also: Chef Kelly Whitaker's new restaurant, Cart-Driver, will draw inspiration from Italy's Autogrill

Cart-Driver will swing open its doors at 4 p.m. this afternoon; it's helmed by chef Kelly Whitaker, whose Boulder joint, Pizzeria Basta, has already secured a solid reputation of its own. Expect blistered pizzas from that oven, as well as a range of small plates, oysters and what partner Andrew Birkholz refers to as "simple fare" in the manner of an Italian "street food vendor." The eatery also has a liquor license, so drinks will be available to complement that fare.

About the name? Completely devoid of ampersands, Cart-Driver refers to the traditional Italian carrettiera, who delivered produce in a horse-drawn cart and offered fresh-cooked dishes along the way. Like that carrettiera, Cart-Driver will also offer a small range of prepared foods for customers who want a fresh-cooked meal to take home. Not much bigger than a horse cart, the 640 square-foot space will have regular business hours of 5 to 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and 5 p.m.-midnight on Friday and Saturday.

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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation

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