Summer in Platt Park is rolling along rather quickly it seems as I write this edition. Hope you’ve gotten out and done whatever it is you love to do in the summer months but if not, there are yet plenty of beautiful days to come. I know Covid is not vanquished but compared to the past two summers it has sort of felt like it with concerts and public gatherings happening all over, restaurants once again buzzing with life and the simple pleasure of being able to exchange a smile between neighbors (sans mask) as you pass by—a welcome relief.
Lots going on as always so let’s get you caught up on things around the hood. In case you missed the last issue, that is only available on-line I highlighted the opening of Jacks on Pearl which opened in the spring. Short summary, it’s great–not cheap–but excellent food, service and atmosphere. Fun happy hour upstairs each night from 3-5:30 pm. We’ve been there a few times and usually bump into one of you so word must be getting out. Go to 3PA.org to read the full article.
Just across the street from Jacks has been the home of Etc. Eatery which permanently closed in June. Co-owner Tim Chaladek said the unfortunate timing of opening at the beginning of the pandemic proved too much. Tim said, “The hardest challenge was the inconsistency from every angle, whether that’s product availability, labor pool, pricing or sales, it made it financially difficult to plan for.” The property is back on the market for lease. We’ll keep you updated as we hear about developments.
Keeping the conversation to the 1400 block of South Pearl you might have notice that Second Star to the Right, children’s book and toy store moved into 1455 S Pearl Street. The owners originally purchased and moved into the building at 1545 S Pearl Street back in 2014. The original plan for that space was to expand it but ultimately that tasked proved more than owners Marc and Dea Lavoie wanted to take on. When the little retail home became available up the block, they decided it would be a better fit and they could focus on running a bookstore and not being developers. Despite the move Marc and Dea report business has done well with sales up 20 percent from 2019.
The building at 1545 S Pearl St was purchased by local resident Nora Baldwin who stated she wants to preserve the building for future retail use. As reported in BusinessDen.com Nora said, “I live in the neighborhood and I love South Pearl, I’m really concerned that there’s going to be a lack of retail then it will go the way of Tennyson Street where they’re building multifamily properties on Main Street where the zoning is for retail”. She is certainly putting her money where her convictions lie. Nora does not yet have a tenant but wants to bring in someone who will add value to Pearl Street saying, “Pearl Street’s only growing bigger and better. The neighborhood is highly desirable because of Pearl Street so I think that any business there would have a base clientele that are never leaving.” Amen sister!
Speaking of Nora Baldwin, it seems the aforementioned building is not the only project she has had her hands on lately. In April of this year Nora purchased the building at 628 E Evans Ave formerly known as The Garden Patch. The Garden Patch has been around as a nursery since 1964 making it one of the longest continuously operating businesses in the area. Unfortunately like many businesses Covid caused the owners to shut down and put the property up for sale. True to Nora’s passion for preserving the character of the neighborhood she is looking for someone to lease the property who wants to use the space in a way that will benefit the neighborhood and create another place of gathering and community involvement like the Patch had been for so many years.
And lastly it seems Nora is not yet done (call this the Nora Baldwin issue) as she also purchased 1804 S Pearl Street across from Steam Espresso and Grant Middle School formerly the Mayu Sanctuary. Nora has leased the space to Bill Taibe a chef and restaurant developer who recently relocated to Denver from Connecticut. Taibe plans to open the restaurant, Don Memo, billed as a creative take on Mexican food. The original Don Memo still operates in Westport Connecticut (www.donmemowestport.com/) which Bill opened in 2020. Look for a later 2023 opening.
Nora purchased the property largely because she did not want to see it developed into another apartment building with no retail space. Nora plans for the garden meditation space to serve as a patio for Don Memo. Behind the patio will be three townhomes which will be zoned such that residents can operate a business out of the ground level. An additional structure is planned for where the current parking lot now sits on the north side but no details are available at this time. We certainly appreciate owners like Nora who are actively working to preserve the charm of South Pearl Street which truly is the heart of our neighborhood. Hope the projects go well and we look forward to seeing what the next steps bring and whatever Nora has up her sleeve.
One other noteworthy purchase happened this spring, the building that houses Yao Clinic, the Chinese herbal medicine clinic and spa at 1301 S Washington Street was purchased by the Junior League of Denver. The Junior League was founded in 1901 with the Denver charter starting in 1918. They presently have 295 chapters in four countries. The Junior League is a women’s volunteer organization that focuses on literacy, early childhood education and poverty. They recently sold their previous Denver headquarters at 1140 N Delaware Street and the Washington property fit the bill for what they were looking for. The Junior League plans to move into the space in early 2023.
Those are just some of the recent happenings around here. Our little neighborhood is as popular as ever and will continue to see new activity and development–some perhaps will not be widely popular