We thought the saga of this building had everything — and then its new owner, Mission Yogurt Inc., signed colorful, talented Dana Rodriguez, founding chef at Work & Class (and chef at Bistro Vendôme before that), to be consulting chef on the project and oversee a team that includes Vicente "Vinny" Sosa as executive chef.
“For me, it’s all about working with great people,” says Rodriguez. “I am extremely excited to be a part of this exciting new concept, especially with my fiancé and partner in the kitchen, as well as the Mission Yogurt family.”
The stunning structure was built in 2007 by the Kizaki brothers as the first home of Izakaya Den, a country Japanese restaurant that drew raves from Jason Sheehan late that year. But in a complicated 2012 deal, the Kizaki brothers traded the original Izakaya Den to the Breckenridge Wynkoop Group for the former home of the Pearl Street Grill, across the street and right next to their flagship, Sushi Den, where they built an equally stunning new Izakaya Den.
After that opened in the spring of 2013, the Breck/Wynkoop Group turned the original into the ambitious Session Kitchen, which never really caught on. And late last year, the group sold the building to Mission Yogurt, owned by Rod Tafoya, which also happened to own the eleven-year-old Que Bueno! in Westminster — whose home is slated to be demolished next month.
“Qué buena suerte’ means ‘what good luck,’ or ‘what good fortune,’ in Spanish, and we felt the term couldn’t be more appropriate for our newest concept,” says Tafoya. “Everything begins and ends at the right time – the closing of another restaurant, due to new construction, presented the perfect opportunity to pursue this new adventure with Vinny, as well as Dana, both of whom I have been eager to work with for a very long time. A portion of the new restaurant’s name – Que Bueno – pays tribute to the past, and the rest celebrates the success we see for the future.”
Watch for Que Bueno Suerte! to open on South Pearl Street this summer.
Mission Yogurt also operates a Que Bueno at Denver International Airport, as well as Root Down, Timberline Steaks & Grille, Etai’s and Mission Yogurt, of course.