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Bigsby’s Folly Craft Winery
RiNo is home to a new craft winery that is definitely worth checking out. Bigsby’s Folly owners Marla and Chad Yetka are also longtime Washington Park residents.
Saying this place is cool is a complete understatement. Bigsby’s Folly is housed in a 100-plus year old brick warehouse, located at 3564 Wazee St., that has been exquisitely renovated to replicate a Roaring Twenties speakeasy complete with crystal chandeliers, plush seating and gleaming wood floors. The space is airy and open, and also features several pet-friendly outdoor patios. By the end of the summer, there will be a small vineyard in the front of the property.
The Yetkas could not be more charming or enthusiastic about their new venture. Both have had successful careers in other industries (Chad literally used to be a rocket scientist and Marla is a marketing maven), but were passionate about wine and dreamed of retiring to Napa and owning a vineyard. They realized they didn’t have to wait until retirement and decided to open an urban winery.
The couple have two winemakers: Chris Nelson and Brian Graham. Nelson, who has worked at numerous wineries on the West coast and was co-founder of San Francisco’s Bluxome Street Winery, lives in Denver and is General Manager. Graham, who studied winemaking at the University of Bordeaux and Napa College, is based in Napa and has lived there since 1997 working at various wineries.
Wine will be made at Bigsby’s Folly starting in fall, after the first crush. Right now, it is all produced at their Sonoma Valley facility and shipped to Denver. They have an absolutely delightful, crisp Rosé of Grenache that is available for purchase online as well as in-house. Customers can also buy “Winemaker for a Day” gift certificates for a 90-minute custom blending session for one person which includes a single bottle of the participant’s red wine blend with a custom designed label.
Rebecca Austin, a Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy graduate, is the Culinary Director and Chef. Her menu features antipasto, shared plates, flatbreads, salads and desserts.
Philanthropy is also important to the Yetkas, particularly animal welfare causes. Bigsby’s Folly is named for their beloved golden retriever, Bigsby, who died from cancer when he was eight. The couple plans to select a non-profit every couple of months, and donate to the organization in a variety of ways, including a Community Giving Day where 10 percent of net proceeds go to the cause and provide guests the opportunity to round-up on their bill for the non-profit. Morris Animal Foundation, an organization dedicated to curing pet cancers, is their grand opening partner from June-September.
Bigsby’s Folly is conveniently located at the base of the 36th & Blake Street pedestrian bridge, near the new 38th Avenue light rail station and Coors Field. Hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 4:00p.m.-10:00p.m., Friday 2:00p.m.-11:00p.m., Saturday 12:00p.m.-11:00p.m. and Sunday 12:00p.m.-8:00p.m. For more information, visit bigsbysfolly.com.
It’s been a great year for Maria Empanada, headquartered at 1298 S. Broadway. Owner Lorena Cantarovici, a native of Argentina, was recently awarded the 2017 Colorado Small Business of the Year Award. There was one winner from each state and Cantarovici flew to Washington D.C. to receive the award from the Small Business Administration.
Maria Empanada was also one of 50 finalists in the Ninth Annual Colorado Companies to Watch (CCTW). “The 2017 Colorado Companies to Watch Finalists represent the state’s most innovative and impactful businesses,” said Rick Ninneman, CCTW Chairman of the Board. “We are proud to recognize the contributions of second stage companies in Colorado that often work behind the scenes creating the bulk of the economic growth in our state.”
Second stage companies have moved past the startup stage into a period of growth. The 2017 Finalists selected significantly impact the state’s economy by collectively providing thousands of jobs and contributing millions of dollars of revenue,” said Ninneman.
CCTW receives close to 1,000 nominations every year and 100 finalists are chosen. Of these, the list is narrowed down to 50 by the CCTW volunteer judging panel.
When Cantarovici came to the US 14 years ago, she had no money or restaurant experience and did not speak English. However, she had many fond memories of making empanadas with her mother in Buenos Aires. Six years ago, she started her company out of her kitchen, which quickly took overtook the garage where Cantarovici installed a commercial kitchen.
When the business outgrew its original Lakewood location, Cantarovici opened the South Broadway store and has since expanded to Greenwood Village. A Stanley Marketplace store will open in July. Maria Empanada has 24 employees.
In addition to empanadas, which are pastries stuffed with eggs, potatoes, cheese and meat, the menu also includes tartitas, croissants, pastries and coffee drinks. There are a number of vegetarian options available.
Cantarovici strives to produce an authentic experience for her customers, right down to the doors. The entry at the South Broadway location incorporates original Argentinian doors from the 1800s that she found in Denver. The doors help to create “buena onda,” which is a good vibe that permeates all aspects of life in Argentina and drives the customer experience and service at Maria Empanada.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served, but Cantarovici does not stop there. Through August, an all-levels tango class is offered every Wednesday at 6:30p.m. On Tuesdays, there is a Spanish class for people who want fun conversation tips, such as what you might say on a date. Maria Empanada is also a great place to watch soccer games. If Argentina happens to be playing, it’s best to get there early if you want a place to sit. For more information, visit mariaempanada.com.
Brian Rossi is adding Mexican Michoacan ice cream to his growing list of food and drink businesses. La Chupaflor, which loosely translates to “hummingbird,” will open in July in Platt Park at 11 E. Louisiana Ave. It will be next door to Palenque Mezcaleria, his most recent restaurant venture, and around the corner from Adelita’s, which opened four years ago.
He plans to serve approximately 16 flavors of ice cream including margarita, mezcal orange, avocado (which is supposedly to die for) and maple bacon. There will also be ice cream tacos and paletas, which are fruit based popsicles. Hours will be 10:00a.m.-10:00p.m. For more information, visit the La Chupaflor Facebook page.
Dos Luces Brewery
Judd Belstock just signed a lease for a 4,000 square-feet space at 1236 S. Broadway for his new brewery. He hopes to have Dos Luces up and running by the end of the year.
Dos Luces will produce Chicha, a corn-based beer dating back to the Incas, and Pulque, made from Agave and originating with the Aztecs. The company plans to bring modern brewing ingenuity to these ancient beverages, creating something new and historical.
A 16-year brewery industry veteran, Belstock has worked at Coors, Miller-Coors and most recently, Boulder Beer Company. He also has an MBA from Harvard. Belstock is self-funding the venture and loves the South Broadway location. It’s also a short commute since he lives in Wash Park.
Classically trained chef Steven Roland just opened Boulangerie in the old Pajama Baking Company space at 1595 S. Pearl St. Roland has worked all over Europe and served as the private chef for two British ambassadors to Norway, so he knows his way around a kitchen.
His menu features organic, naturally leavened breads, croissants, salads, soups, cheeses, poached eggs, coffee and espresso. Boulangerie is open for breakfast and lunch with counter service and grab-and-go items.
Thump Coffee is opening its second Denver location this summer in the new Denver Health building at 601 Broadway.
Most of the same drinks served at the Capitol Hill location will be available as well as a daily selection of fresh baked pastries. Due to space limitations, Thump will not be able to offer its brunch menu or toast.
“We are excited to open and start serving delicious coffee and baked goods,” said manager Andy Lewis.
Thump will occupy almost 1,100 square feet of first floor retail space out of the 5,700 available. Rental revenue from the retail space will help offset the cost of the new Denver Health building, which opened in mid-June. For more information, visit thumpcoffee.com.
Salon Velluto, a new 10-chair salon will be opening at 248 S. Broadway in early fall. Owner Rachel Fannon purchased the building, which was built in 1890 and includes a two bedroom apartment, and is completely renovating the entire property. She loves the building and its architectural charm, and thought the location was ideal for her clients.
Fannon and partner Eric Hill plan to focus on hair services only for adults and kids, and styling for special occasions. Color treatments and highlights will also be offered. For more information, visit salonvelluto.com.
The Frye Company
The Frye Company (thefryecompany.com) recently opened a 2,200 square feet store in Cherry Creek North at 2929 E. Second Ave. Founded in 1863, Frye makes high-end shoes, sandals, slides, boots, bags and accessories for women, men and children. The Frye Company is open Monday-Saturday 10:00a.m.-8:00p.m. and Sunday 12:00p.m.-8:00p.m.
Earth Treks climbing gym is coming to Englewood in 2018. The company is renovating the old Sports Authority headquarters at 1050 W. Hampden Ave.
The Englewood location will be over 52,000 square feet and the largest climbing center in the US. The climbing walls will be designed by professional rock climber Jason Kehl and full of roped and bouldering terrain.
The facility will also offer climbing classes, a yoga studio, fitness equipment, retail gear shop and onsite child care. There will be plenty of parking and convenient access to light rail and bike trails.
Earth Treks is not new to Colorado. It also operates a 29,000 square feet climbing gym in Golden that opened in 2013. For more information, visit earthtreksclimbing.com.
Pearl Wine Company
Pearl Wine Company, located at 1886 S. Pearl St., now has a Level Two Sommelier, Joshua Hillman. Passing this several hour exam sets him apart in his knowledge of wine. Dustin Chiappetta, owner of Pearl Wine, said only seven of the 25 people who recently took the three-part test passed.
Chiappetta feels it is important to invest in his employees in order to be one of the top bottle shops in Denver. He seeks out the best qualified people and wants them to be educated and passionate about wine so they can make exemplary recommendations to customers.
Pearl Wine carries bottles from family owned and operated wineries because Chiappetta believes they produce the best vintages. Oftentimes they have been growing grapes in the same place for generations and have years of experience making wine.
There are over 1000 selections at Pearl Wine, including 70+ Rosés, which Chiappetta says is a great summer wine. Hours are Monday-Thursday 11:00a.m.-9:00p.m., Friday-Saturday 11:00a.m.-10:00p.m. and Sunday 11:00a.m.-8:00p.m. For more information, visit pearlwinecompany.com.
Susan Pearce of Preferred Properties recently won the Broker Manager of the Year award from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors. Preferred Properties, which is headquartered in Wash Park at 1041 S. Gaylord St., has been locally owned and operated since 1974. For more information, visit preferreddenver.com.
YL Shoes & Repair
After 18 years in Cherry Creek, YL Shoes and Repair recently moved to 600 S. Holly St., Unit 102, just off of Leetsdale Drive. Owner Yelena Stolyar said the building where her store used to be located was sold. YL offers repair services for shoes, luggage, purses, belts and zippers. They also carry a number of comfortable shoe lines including Birkenstock, Naot and Fly London. Store hours are Monday-Friday 8:00p.m.-6:00p.m. and Saturday 9:00a.m.-5:00p.m.
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