Tony's Market gets a witness

I'm looking forward to Tony's Market opening up across the street from the Westword building. I'm looking forward to the upscale groceries, the butcher section, the deli and bistro, the patio, the pizzas and the beer and wine. I've heard about Tony's -- they have three locations in the south Denver suburbs and they've won a couple of Best Of Denver awards -- so I know the place will be cool.

How much am I looking forward to it?

Let's just say I'm willing to testify about it -- under oath.

On Monday, I was one of three people sworn in by the city's Excise and Licenses hearing officer as part of Tony's effort to secure its first liquor license. Before it approves a license, the city likes to know that there are nearby businesses in favor of it. The owners of Rickenbaugh Cadillac Volvo and Roach Photos were also there, along with Tony's founder, Tony Rosacci, his son Danny, and the company's attorney. In addition, Tony's had signatures from 75 local residents and 71 other businesses.

Here are some of the questions I answered "yes" to.

Would I drink an alcoholic beverage at Tony's from time to time; do I think the owners could manage their business well; are there similar establishments in the neighborhood; if so, is there a need for one more; does Tony's fit the character of the area?

The Golden Triangle is still a neighborhood in transition. There are plenty of big apartment and condo buildings, but restaurants, markets and retail businesses come and go quickly. And businesses with Tony's rep are few and far between.

When it opens, probably at the beginning of May, Tony's will fill the first floor of the former Planned Parenthood offices at 950 Broadway. At the moment, the building is just a shell; it is being completely gutted by Hyder Construction and outfitted for offices on the upper two floors. A parking structure is being added just to the south.

So welcome, Tony's, and we'll save our toasts, with a beer, for May.

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