Steam will heat up South Pearl Street in March

While much of the action on South Pearl Street centers on the 1400 South block -- where Tavern Platt Park will break ground in March, and Izakaya Den will move in May -- there's plenty of activity four blocks south.

That's where the original Park Burger expanded last year, Makan Malaysian Cafe opened last summer and Bin 1884 Cheese Bar opened in December. Next to join the lineup: Steam, an espresso bar going into 1801 South Pearl. See also: - Makan Malaysian Cafe could turn you into a roti rooter - Breckenridge-Wynkoop have a concept for South Pearl -- but the name's still a secret - Izakaya Denver's move to a new home next to Sushi Den set for May

Twin brothers Hani and Zahi Yaafouri bought a building that had been a photography studio for more than two decades, and "have been doing construction since October," says Hani. "We're using a lot of reclaimed wood, putting in a bamboo floor."

Zahi, an architect who moved to Colorado a dozen years ago, is designing the project; Hani, who moved here six years ago for graduate school at the University of Denver, brought with him considerable coffee experience, having worked for Starbucks for six years and managed stores in Beirut and Dubai.

After getting two graduate degrees -- one in business, one in law -- he and his twin decided to open this place not far from DU. And students will certainly appreciate the huge, outside seating area they're putting in. "We think that will be a huge difference," Hani says.

Steam will be serving pastries from Trompeau and coffee from Boxcar in Boulder; the brothers also plan to install a fresh juice bar.

Watch for Steam to open in mid-March.

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