Is Englewood on the verge of a restaurant Renaissance? Here's more evidence: Squeaky Bean founder and co-owner Johnny Ballen is moving into the south Denver suburb with a new eatery called Cochino, which he expects to open at 3495 South Downing Street by the end of April.
Ballen's still working on the menu, but says it "will be pig-centric, mostly pork tacos, some chicken and fish...[and] a burger with Hatch green chile and queso." The bar program will include a healthy tequila list plus beer on tap and "great margaritas."
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The building Ballen selected was most recently a Star Express gas station and convenience store, but he'll be transforming it with the same eclectic panache that has made his first restaurant — both locations — such a fun and inviting space. Like the Bean, Cochino will feature a 1950s Bevador cooler as a bar centerpiece and will also make use of the original globe lights from Rioja, which were swapped out when that restaurant remodeled early last year.
Cochino will seat sixty diners inside, with an additional 36 to 40 on the patio, and will be open for lunch and dinner every day, with brunch to be added on the weekends. Although the South Downing spot is several blocks off the main downtown Englewood drag, neighbors and employees of Swedish Medical Center should keep the place hopping.