Openings and Closings

Quiero Arepas Plans April 20 Grand Opening on South Pearl Street

Quiero Arepas will hold its Platt Park grand opening on Saturday, April 20.
Quiero Arepas will hold its Platt Park grand opening on Saturday, April 20. Mark Antonation
Quiero Arepas couldn't have picked a better day for the grand opening of its first brick-and-mortar restaurant than Saturday, April 20. Not that you need to get stoned to experience a craving for the eatery's Venezuelan arepas, but 4/20 is a great day to celebrate a Denver original — and it's also the ninth anniversary of Quiero, founded as a street-food stand by Igor and Beckie Panasewicz in 2010.

After a short time selling arepas at farmers' markets, the couple hit the streets with a food truck before finding a home at Avanti Food & Beverage in 2015. But a solo Quiero Arepas was always part of the plan, one that came to fruition last December, when Makan Malaysian closed at 1859 South Pearl Street. The owner was a friend, so the Panasewiczes agreed to take over the lease.

Now, following a quick remodel, the new Quiero Arepas will open at 3 p.m. on Saturday, serving arepas until 9 p.m. After that, the team will take Sunday off before launching into regular hours from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

The couple founded their eatery with the goal of serving fresh, all-natural and gluten-free Venezuelan street food using meats, produce and cheese from local farms and producers. Menu items are served with a minimum of packaging — no straws, lids, side cups or plates (the sandwich-like arepas come wrapped only in thin food-service foil).


Quiero Arepas will remain open at Avanti, and the food truck, powered by natural gas, will continue to roam the streets. 
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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