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Upscale Local Marketplace Takes Over Vacant Highland Save-a-Lot

This will soon be Leevers Locavore.EXPAND
This will soon be Leevers Locavore.
Mark Antonation
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The former Save-a-Lot space at 2630 West 38th Avenue, which has been empty for more than two years (the store moved to 4860 Pecos Street), is being revamped into a modern, upscale market — by the company that operated the Save-a-Lot.

Franktown-based Leevers Supermarkets Inc. runs more than twenty grocery stores along the Front Range (and, oddly, in southern Florida) under the Save-a-lot and Colorado Ranch Market banners, but the company will soon launch a new brand: Leevers Locavore.

Tailored for an influx of young residents in the surrounding Highland, Sunnyside and Berkeley neighborhoods, Leevers Locavore will offer a coffee station, beer and wine on tap for shoppers, a butcher counter, several food kiosks and a mix of groceries and produce from Colorado as well as national brands. The company plans to stock a big selection of local, natural and organic products.

Chef/restaurateur Jeff Osaka, who runs Osaka Ramen, Sushi-Rama and 12@Madison, will be one of the participants; he'll have a kiosk at Leevers Locavore serving Japanese rice bowls, wraps and sushi rolls that will encompass some of the flavors of his ramen and sushi restaurants. Also on board is Justin Brunson, chef/owner of Old Major and Masterpiece Delicatessen, who just launched his wholesale company, River Bear American Meats. He'll install a smaller version of Culture Meat & Cheese (the deli counter he owns inside Denver Central Market), and could also be in charge of setting up the Leevers butcher counter. A third kiosk will be dedicated to pizza.

Leevers Locavore will be managed by Chris Franklin, a Trader Joe's veteran who recently moved to Colorado. The entire building is currently being renovated, a job that includes restoring original hardwood floors and exposing ceiling beams stenciled with the Denver Steel name, both of which were part of the space long before it was a Save-a-Lot.

The company expects to open the 18,000-square-foot Leevers Locavore in late spring or early summer.

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