As a busy working mom, I’ve set aside one night a week for date night, but my husband doesn’t get home from work until late, so it’s often after 9 p.m. before we get out for dinner on Thursday evenings. Like many people who don’t have 9-5 office jobs, finding a place to unwind with a drink and delicious food late on weekdays can be a challenge in Denver, no matter how metropolitan we’d like to think we’ve become.
Local culinary heavyweights Tim Dotson and Chris Fuentes were thinking of busy people like me when they put together the concept for Dimestore Delibar, open until midnight most days with a late night menu or deli grab-n-go if you’re on the run.
“If you work in the restaurant industry like we do, it’s hard to find anything but pizza when you get off work at night,” said Fuentes from behind the colorful bar. It’s adorned with mason jars of house dried and candied fruit garnishes and backlit with three giant stained glass panels, including an image of the Lady of Guadalupe, which Fuentes says is a little homage to the church up the street.
It’s obvious that much attention has been paid to the details in creating the casual, hip atmosphere. So, how’s the menu?
They had me at the first sip of The Pharcyde drink, and several other $10 “dime pieces” (house cocktails) were equally unique and tasty.
I’ll admit, as a vegetarian, I’m not much of a food critic (our paper has Chef Scott Durrah for that), but when I saw some of the German-themed specialties on the menu, I was intrigued; it was going to be tough to stand up to my grandmother’s German casseroles and comfort food.
The hubby and I wolfed down the roasted yukon potatoes with housemade ricotta with cherry tomatoes and capers. When I finished, I seriously had a hard time keeping myself from licking the plate.
Fortunately, it was followed by the most delicious eggplant parmesan “dimeroll” sandwich I’ve ever encountered, rolled wrap-style in a thin focaccia bread. Before you’ve finished eating, you’re automatically drawn to the deli, wanting to know how you can possibly take more of this goodness home with you.
With the Natural Grocer at Platte and 15th streets having closed, LoHi residents have a ways to go to get to a convenience or grocery store. At Dimestore Delibar, you can grab various sundries and freshly made deli items, including house-made nut butters, ricotta, pesto and other sauces, cheeses and meats — and go. Fuentes said they are working to cater to the neighborhood’s tastes and needs.
“We aim to earn the regular repeat business of the neighborhood residents by delivering high quality food and a vibrant bar scene at a lower price point,” Fuentes said. “We are striving to gain a following that caters to everyone in our neighborhood.”
The cornerstore/bodega-style delibar concept also provides wares of all varieties, from candy bars to condoms. The eclectic design is meant as a playful nod to an old variety store, each unique and exciting detail provoking a sense of comfort and imagination. Spend some time discovering the vast array of antique, collectible decanters emblazoned with various state names or shaped like a family of pandas, the belt buckles rotating in the old cigarette display and the old tin wind-up robots.
Those familiar with the former Low Country Kitchen location on Boulder Street in LoHi will immediately notice that the space has been remarkably transformed by replacing the entire brick front wall with glass doors that completely open to the patio. Fuentes said he’s excited for warmer weather when guests can enjoy the family style tables and orange benches on the patio that they procured from Octoberfest — and don’t forget the amazing rooftop deck with views of downtown Denver!
“We are excited to bring our unique and dynamic new concept to the Lower Highlands neighborhood,” said Dotson, beaming from behind the deli and explaining all of the meat varieties he carefully prepares. It promises to deliver a fine dining experience with a relaxed atmosphere, outstanding food and drink, unexpected fun finds and a focus on value.
Dimestore Delibar is located at 1575 Boulder St. and is open for lunch fm 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to midnight daily, except closing at 10 p.m. Sundays and all day Tuesdays. The deli counter is open all the time for those who wish to grab and go. Visit dimestoredelibar.com to peruse the menu, but stop in to experience the full concept. You won’t be disappointed.
Photos courtesy of Harry Warters; photo of roasted potato dish by Sabrina Allie.