Zengo and Tamayo reopen after remodels -- and have bigger plans for 2012

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Richard Sandoval opened his first restaurant in New York City fifteen years ago, and since then, his empire has expanded across the United States. He currently has six spots in Colorado, including the recently opened Cima in Avon, Venga Venga in Vail and a pair of La Sandias in Northfield and Park Meadows.

He's also behind the downtown restaurants Zengo and Tamayo, which kicked off 2012 with remodels. "We're trying to keep it fresh and new," explains Katie Allen, who does public relations for Sandoval's restaurants.

At Zengo, that meant a dining room update, with new carpeting, fixtures and furniture, though hostess Michelle Barnett says the aesthetic hasn't changed all that much. "We're getting new chairs, and there's new flooring and paint," she explains."But there were no big changes to the space."

Tamayo, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, also got an update, this one in the back of the house. "We just did the kitchen," says Lisa Hoeft, a longtime employee of the restaurant. "We did the ovens and redid the coolers, but we were closed a little longer than anticipated, so we didn't start on the dining room."

That change will come later this year. In a statement, Sandoval confirmed that Tamayo will get a "relaunch," with special attention on the tequila collection. According to Hoeft, the restaurant will get updates to the rooftop terrace, hardwood floors and new furniture, too, along with a fresh, new menu -- although she's not sure when those changes will start.

An even bigger plan is in the works for Zengo. "We'll be putting in a wine bar," says Barnett. "It will be right next to the restaurant. We're mapping it out right now." Although there's no timeline yet for that project, the new spot, named Al Lado, should be pouring some time in 2012.

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