When Gayor Geller and his family opened Maddie's, a cozy breakfast spot at 2423 South Downing Street, three years ago, they already owned the former service station next door and had plans to convert it into a restaurant space. That construction project started earlier this year, and Geller says he hopes to move Maddie's into the new space by this fall.
The current Maddie's, named after Geller's daughter, is one of the smallest full-service restaurants in town, with only sixteen seats inside, plus another ten on the front porch. "Little Maddie's is pretty tight and pretty busy," Geller points out, so an expansion is overdue.
Maddie's new incarnation will be four times the size, with room for 75 inside and another thirty to forty outside. Geller says he's keeping many of the vintage garage's original architectural details, including two garage bays that will open onto the patio, and beautiful wood rafters in the ceiling. There will also be a two-way fireplace on the patio and a glass-front kitchen that looks out onto the outdoor seating area.
Geller has been part of the neighborhood since he was a kid; he grew up in Harvard Gulch and attended the University of Denver, where he earned a law degree. He is something of a modern Renaissance man; he also has an MBA as well as certified professional accreditation from the American Culinary Federation, and has completed the professional cooking program at the Cook Street School of Culinary Arts.
He's also a musician who has taught classes at the University of Colorado Denver and has toured as a band manager and concert promoter (if you're a fan of jam bands and bluegrass, you may have attended his Last Waltz Revisited tribute shows). With the extra room and spacious surroundings of the new building, Geller plans to host bluegrass brunches and other outdoor events on the property.
Maddie's will continue to be primarily a breakfast and lunch destination in its new home, but a larger kitchen will allow the team to also offer boxed lunches and catering. Geller also has plans for the tiny cottage once Maddie's moves out: It will be another food-related venture for the neighborhood, but he's not quite ready to reveal his plans.