Those of us living downtown have figured out by now that something was finally going on in the space formerly occupied by Il Fornaio, 1631 Wazee. This big, beautiful, warm and inviting room of a restaurant has been sitting empty and mostly dark for well over two years. I think we have all missed it. But, recently there have been signs of life, and yesterday in The Denver Post, Penny Parker broke the Big Game open.
In late March, or early April, the Big Game Restaurant and Lounge will open there. And, we know this to be true, as this morning a beer truck driver confirmed that delivery schedules were in the works. We hope they have some good local beers delivered as well! The people playing the Big Game have reportedly worked on the concept for about a year and a half. The Chodorow group of Texas is opening this, their second restaurant in a new venture called the TurnTable Restaurant Group.
Very recently, they opened a restaurant in Miami’s tony South Beach area called the El Scorpion Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar. Early reviews speak well, mentioning good guacamole’s, food, decor, interesting drinks, loud music and a bar full of 20-something’s sipping their trendy South Beach beverages.
We get the Big Game. Many of the fixtures from Il Fornaio remain. The new menu is not set yet, but may include some game meat items (I trust they know that Buffalo is not really game any more) and they plan a Giant TV Screen which can show up to 12 sporting events at the same time. I believe that would be like watching a digital quilt that your grandmother would have made crossing the prairie if she could have at the time.
Now, of course, this is not the first Big Game in LoDo in recent years. Every year we get the Longhorn Steers in the Stock Show Parade. That probably doesn’t count. But, a couple of years ago, a very large Black Bear was parked on 17th Street by McCormick’s for an event. And, one Sunday night in the fall of 2004, the Ringling Brothers’ Circus had to move from the Pepsi Center to the Denver Coliseum. The elephants marched in perfect elephant formation right down the street below our window, sounding like big guys shuffling along in house slippers. And, don’t forget the Gorilla Run!
So, get ready for the Big Game on Wazee. Let’s see who shows up to play!