Word of Mouth

Samba Room, Euclid Hall, Ocean Prime and the ongoing evolution of Larimer Square

A month ago, when Samba Room went dark and a sign appeared in the window of the restaurant at 1460 Larimer Street announcing that the space was under "construction," Joe Vostrejs, COO of Larimer Associates, started getting calls. Restaurateurs were interested in leasing this corner spot in hot-hot Larimer Square, hoping that "construction" was code for "bye-bye."

Not so. According to Vostrejs, Samba Room had to close because of a major floor failure, which had caused a leak in the Comedy Works below. E-Brands, the Orlando-based company that owns Samba Room, is waiting for the insurance pay-out, Vostrejs says, and then it'll begin construction on the floor, which will take about a month.

"It sounds like we're at least six weeks out," he notes. But since the construction work has yet to be scheduled, there's no telling when the Samba Room will start serving up mojitos and Cubanos once more.

Still, even with vague plans and no timeline, Larimer Associates isn't toying with finding a new tenant. "We see no reason to believe they won't reopen," Vostrejs adds.

While Samba Room is on hold, work is continuing at Euclid Hall, the restaurant that Jen Jasinski and Beth Gruitch, the powerhouses behind Rioja and Bistro Vendome, are putting into the former Martini Ranch, at the other end of the Square at 1317 14th Street. Look for that restaurant to open in early August.

Moving more slowly is Ocean Prime, but a sign in the window of the old Gallery Z space, right across from Samba Room, promises that it will still roll into Denver. Vostrejs says that spot will open in January.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk