Why Jeff Osaka's bid for twelve's Larimer location came up a winner

Twelve, Jeff Osaka's intimate eatery with a menu that changes twelve times a year (hence the name), almost didn't happen. The Los Angeles native had been looking at spaces for a Denver restaurant for years when 2233 Larimer Street became available, and he wasn't the only party to show interest in the spot, which had previously held Kokopelli's and Manny's Smokehouse before that. See also: Jeff Osaka, Best Chef Ambassador 2013

Osaka found an ad for the place on Craigslist -- as had plenty of other people. "Everybody who approached the landlord wanted to open another bar," he remembers. "I was the only one who wanted to open a restaurant."

And that's why Osaka thinks he won out.

Good thing he did -- not just for Osaka himself, but for Larimer Street, which has changed significantly in the five years since he opened his restaurant. And has twelve been a good thing for Denver diners? Find out tomorrow when my review of twelve is posted on westword.com.


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Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz

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