Moose Sightings and Downtown Retail Infill

Yet another mountain-bred sandwich concept has found its way to Lower Downtown. Within a few weeks, the Smiling Moose Deli will open a branch on the Wynkoop Street side of 1515 Wynkoop. Smiling Moose began in 2003 near Vail, and now boasts stores throughout the Denver suburbs and mountain towns, and also in four other states.

The Moose serves sandwiches, hot and cold or custom built, salads, soups and breakfast all day. And, rumors of a coffee vendor in the small remaining vacant retail space next to the Moose.

The 1515 Wynkoop Building actually filled in their street-level spaces in a reasonable amount of time. With the cornerstone Fogo de Chao Brazillian Steakhouse, the 15th Street side includes Massage Envy, a dental office and Blokes, a “Gentlemen’s Barbershop” that serves beer with their haircuts. Adding the Smiling Moose to the Wynkoop side seems like a good idea with the ever increasing office density and traffic in the area now.

By contrast, the EPA building, over a much longer time, just doesn’t have much going for it at street level. A pizza place close to the Light Rail, and, of course, a branch bank office. There’s also the still vacant space once occupied by Starbucks, thankfully for only a short time. We have heard that the spaces in this building for retail are a bit odd, shallow and hard to keep compliant with the EPA’s requirements for their own office space.

Nonetheless, kudos to 1515 for not rounding up the usual suspects to fill their spaces. That’s the type of development variety to improve the neighborhood!

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