Penny Parker’s On The Town: Diner destined for Larimer Square


Tom’s Urban 24 Diner, a new concept from the owners of Smashburger, will set up shop in the former Samba Room space on the prime corner of 15th and Larimer on Larimer Square.

The restaurant will be a 24-hour operation, the only one in LoDo, and will likely be a hungry haven for nightclub crawlers looking for a late-night nosh.

“I’ve actually wanted a 24-hour operation on Larimer Square for many years,” said Joe Vostrejs, chief operating of Larimer Associates. “There’s been a hole in downtown for this product. If you wanted something to eat at 3 a.m. where do you go?”

The space sat empty for two years after Samba Room’s parent company filed bankruptcy while the Denver restaurant was in the midst of major repairs from faulty plumbing that leaked into Comedy Works below. Comedy Works filed suit over the soggy situation.

The diner, which will serve more upscale food similar to the quality of Steuben’s on 17th Avenue, is named after Tom Ryan, managing partner and chief concept officer at Denver-based Consumer Capital Partners, an investment and operations company. Ryan was one of the big brains behind the Smashburger chain.

Stacie Lange, spokeswoman for Consumer Capital Partners, called the Larimer Square spot “an ideal location for us”.

“We’re still working on details about the concept, but should be able to talk more about it in the next 30 to 60 days.”

Vostrejs said the goal is to have the diner open by the end of the summer.

Postmortem

Was Saks Fifth Avenue plotting a comeback to Denver after closing its only store here last year?

That was the mistaken message posted last week by indeed.com, which listed several job openings for the “Denver” Saks.

“I got some calls from people asking if Saks was revisiting opportunities in Denver,” said Nick LeMasters, general manager of Cherry Creek Shopping Center where Saks shut down. “I picked up the phone and called our home office, but apparently some mistake was made.”

Saks Fifth Avenue spokeswoman Lexi Miller said the job posting faux pas was the result of “a glitch through our third party service provider.”

“Upon discovery last week, we removed that immediately,” she said. Miller added that there are legit job openings at the Off 5th stores in Lakewood and Castle Rock.

Nod to the Nuggets

The crowd went wild Sunday when a group of Denver Nuggets, including Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson, were spotted by concertgoers who had come to see rap stars Drake and J Cole at the Comfort Dental Amphitheatre.

The players, who had just come off their loss to the Lakers in the playoffs, were escorted to a special spot by the soundboard right before J Cole took the stage.

Wine time

Two local fine dining spots in Denver are holding worthwhile wine events that will please your palate without wiping out your wallet.

Join Elway’s Cherry Creek sommeliers Todd Rocchio and Aaron Foster for a pink party on the patio from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday to help them choose rose wines for the summer.

Samples of 20 Roses from France, Spain, Austria, California, Italy and Greece will be poured, and attendees can vote for their favorite flavors to help the sommeliers create a summer Rose flight for the Elway’s wine list.

Executive chef Tyler Wiard will prepare a few specialty treats to accompany the tasting. Tickets are $35 including tax and tip. Reservations: 303-399-7616.

Check out this can’t beat bargain: Ambria Restaurant (16th Street Mall and Larimer) is holding a Jordan Vineyard and Winery four-course wine dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday for $80 per person including tax, tip and parking in the Tabor Center Parking Garage.

Chris Avery, Jordan’s national sales director, will pour a Chardonnay along with four vintages of Cabernet dating back to 2002. Jordan was founded in 1972 by Denver oil man Tom Jordan and his wife, Sally. Their son, John, now heads the company .

Ambria chef Gabe Balenzuela will pair the four-course meal with the wines (check out the menu at ambriadenver.com). Tickets (hurry!) are available at blacktie-colorado.com.

New installations

Former Gov. Bill Owens moved his offices into Trinity Place at 1801 Broadway shortly before the building installed The Dawn of Autumn, a panoramic Thomas D. Mangelsen photographic print.

The building recently underweent an extensive lobby renovation incorporating all new finishes. Can’t say the same about the former guv who’s looked refreshed and rejuvenated ever since leaving office.

Owens is the principal and managing director of Renew Strategies, a private equity water fund and asset manager.

The seen

Former Colorado Avalanche defenseman (now with the Toronto Maple Leafs) John Michael Liles at Mail It! Pack It! Ship It! in Cherry Creek North on Tuesday.

Eavesdropping on a woman when I introduced myself at the Travel Writer’s Reception at the Denver Botanic Gardens: “Are you still Penny Parker?”

My Facebook page has moved. Be sure to like it! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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