The pandemic took its toll on trendy Larimer Street, as it did throughout Denver. One of the first eateries to succumb in RiNo was Meadowlark Kitchen; owners Casey Karns and Joshua Bitz locked the doors for good last June after six years in business, rather than struggle with reduced capacity in the tiny dining room while trying to maintain the health and safety of their staff and guests.
But the neighborhood in general still clamors for good food (who can forget Meadowlark's teetering, yolky burger?). And a few blocks away, another eatery, Dio Mio Handmade Pasta, held a few pop-ups for its new concept, Redeemer Pizza, in February and March while maintaining secrecy on its permanent brick-and-mortar eatery. But now the secret's out.
Redeemer, under the guidance of chefs Alex Figura and Spencer White, posted this note on Instagram this morning, along with a photo of the former Meadowlark, at 2705 Larimer Street: "Excited to call this Denver landmark our home, soon enough! Shout outs to the greats that came before us. We can’t wait to start slinging pies out of here."
White and Figura have made fresh-milled heirloom grains a priority at Dio Mio in both the pasta and the breads, and that theme continues with Redeemer, which is named for a variety of wheat (not Christianity's biggest superstar). Naturally leavened dough fermented over three days will form the base of pizzas the chefs described as "New York 2.0" back when they first launched their pop-ups. Paper-wrapped subs, small plates, creative cocktails and natural wines are also part of the plan.
Meadowlark Kitchen was known for its late-night, hip-hop vibe, giving the neighborhood's music fans someplace welcoming before and after shows at the subterranean Meadowlark next door and the Larimer Lounge a couple of doors down. A drive-by of the new Redeemer space reveals that at least a couple of months of work appear necessary to get it up and running again, but by this summer, the pizzas and drinks will be there to bolster Larimer Street's late-night scene as it re-emerges from a year of hibernation.
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