Cafe Society

Toast comes to Cherry Creek, while Juicy Lucy's takes off

We weren't really looking to do a second restaurant, but everything just kind of fell into place," explains Bill Blake. Along with business partner Jason Parfenoff, he's just signed a lease on the long-vacated Village Inn space at 222 Columbine Street, where he'll open a second outpost of Toast, the perpetually packed pancake house at 2700 West Bowles Avenue in Littleton. "Even though the building's going to be demolished in four years, we think this is a great fit for us and what we do," Blake continues. "There aren't a lot of breakfast places in Cherry Creek, and our pricing is really low, with nothing on the menu over $15, so we think we can be very competitive down here."

Plans are in the works to repaint the interior — "We definitely want to get rid of the nasty teal, pink and orange Village Inn color scheme," confesses Blake — but aside from that, the 180-seat dining room will remain largely unchanged, and the menu will echo that of the original Toast, with a few additions geared toward Creekers.

And speaking of Creekers, Juicy Lucy's just gave up the ghost — a ghost that has killed off so many other restaurants (Papillon, Indigo, Go Fish Grille and Tula among them) that had tried this location at 250 Josephine Street. The owners, who have a successful Juicy Lucy's in Glenwood Springs, were asking $150,000 in their web ad, which also noted this last week: "On going business so please do not disturb the employees and use utmost discretion."

But while Juicy Lucy's has dried up, another Lucy has been revived: The restaurant located in the Comedy Works South that had closed two months ago for renovations reopened last Thursday.

Da Capo's Best Food Writing 2009 is out, and once again, it includes a piece from Jason Sheehan: "The Last of the Great $10 Steaks," his review of the Columbine Steak House, at 300 Federal Boulevard). Here's a taste:

The smell of cheap steaks burning on a grill, of char smoke on the spring air mixing with the smell of hyacinth and burley-and-bright. That will always remind me of my dad, of my mom watching him through the little window in the kitchen looking out over the back yard, of good days when I knew in some deep and mostly inaccessible part of my childhood self that things were, for the moment, okay. Steak nights were like quiet celebrations of small victories — solid knowledge that there was enough money to pay the bills, that the grownups had done whatever it was that grownups do to make things all right for a few hours or a few days.

If I were Proust, that smell would be my madeleine — the trigger for a crashing flood of recall, of me in the warm comfort of boyhood. And walking past the back door of the Columbine Steak House, I get a whiff of it.

Culled from our Cafe Society blog; for daily updates, visit

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