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.


KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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

Latest Stories