When Tony's Market exited its Golden Triangle location at the end of 2017, the neighborhood lost not only a high-end grocery store, but also a quick stop for ready-made breakfast and lunch items. Breakfast sandwiches and coffee fueled early risers, while lines usually formed around noon at the sandwich counter. The cavernous space has been vacant for almost three months now, but it won't remain empty for long: Mark Shaker, one of the developers behind the Stanley Marketplace, is replacing Tony's with a new food hall called Broadway Market, with plans to debut in late summer.
Demolition has already begun on the interior of 950 Broadway; Shaker says the goal is to remove walls, dividers and the drop ceiling to open up the 15,000-square-foot space to afford views from end to end. Once that's complete, construction will begin to slot up to eight food and beverage vendors around the perimeter, along with a central bar, a stage for live music, and two or three spots for such retail vendors as a flower shop.
Although food vendors have not all been selected, Shaker is using existing built-in kitchen equipment such as a pizza oven, flat-top grills (complete with hoods) and a bread oven to help shape the vision. He also hopes to have an island sushi bar in the central space. Of the eight slots, one will be devoted to a breakfast concept, he says.
Along Broadway, existing windows will be replaced with two counter windows so that customers can sit inside at the counter for an indoor/outdoor experience. And a hidden patio on the south end of the building will be expanded and included in the building's new liquor license, which will allow for beer, wine and spirits (unlike the license at Tony's, which only covered beer and wine). On the north end of the building, another window will be converted into a walk-up pizza window for pedestrians who need a quick slice.
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The Broadway Market will be only a fraction of the size of Stanley Marketplace, and construction will be much less complicated, so Shaker expects the project to run smoothly. "That was a great learning experience," he says of the Stanley project, which converted a former airplane-parts factory into a full retail and food-service destination over the course of three years. "More than anything, though, we're community builders. We want this to be a hangout for the entire neighborhood."
Also in on the project are Brad Arguello (who helped launch Avanti Food & Beverage), and Tim White and Chris Haugen, who are partners in the Stanley.
This stretch of southbound Broadway and northbound Lincoln Street just a block away have seen many eateries come and go over the years, and there are still several vacant restaurant spaces nearby. The Broadway Tony's left when its ten-year lease was up; the parent company now has its own big Tony's market-hall project in the Happy Canyon shopping center off East Hampden Avenue.
If you don't live or work in a neighborhood that boasts a food hall or market, the idea may feel a little trendy right now. But for those within walking distance of projects like the Stanley, Avanti, Denver Central Market or the brand-new Zeppelin Station, it's like Willie Wonka just invited you into his chocolate factory.