Food News

The Inventing Room Gets an Eviction Notice From Landlord

When the Inventing Room opened at 2020 Lawrence Street just over a year ago, chef/owner Ian Kleinman was subleasing a small space from what was then Lower48 Kitchen, and became Pop's Place after that Best of Denver award winner closed. But Pop's Place didn't last long, either — and now Kleinman's liquid-nitrogen ice cream and dessert emporium will close, too. Kleinman says he received a surprise eviction notice from the landlord stating that he needed to be out of the space by Thanksgiving.

"I was just in court but was unable to extend our time at 2020 Lawrence," Kleinman says. "The last day our shop will be open will be Saturday, November 26."

The eviction hits especially hard because the Inventing Room was ramping up for the holiday season and had multiple private events booked. "The people who already had parties booked at the shop have been contacted, and we will honor their agreements by catering in their home," Kleinman explains. "As far as future parties, we always have the option of bringing our concept to our guests."

While this is a real setback for Kleinman — who is often compared favorably to Willy Wonka — and his team, the silver lining here is that he has successfully run the Inventing Room as a catering and special-events company for several years and will continue to do so. He also recently inked a deal to open a branch of the ice cream shop in Dubai, and just finished training a chef who is moving there to kick off the opening. And he's working with a Canadian company called MuvBox with a goal of opening beachfront versions of his concept.

Although heartbroken by the closure, the chef says he is already scouting new locations and hopes to reopen in a new space sometime in early 2017 — but in the meantime, the Ballpark neighborhood will miss the cotton candy in crazy flavors, the exploding whipped cream and the molecular-gastronomy sundaes.

"We are grateful we had the opportunity to build something special and successful in the Ballpark neighborhood, and we will use the lessons we learned there to help us evolve into an even better concept at the new shop," Kleinman promises.
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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