UPDATE: Radiator is now open! The business opened later in August, not on 8/15 as originally reported.
Many North Denver residents, this author included, were sad to see Common Grounds coffee close earlier this year and readers have been writing in asking about the fate of the property at 44th Ave and Vallejo. Despite zoning that would allow higher development and the large lot, the building wasn’t scraped as some expected. Instead, Radiator, a new mixed use coffee shop and bar, opened this week after new owners renovated the existing building.
“We wanted a place that’s a gathering spot for the neighborhood,” said Sara Green, one of the owners of the new establishment. Green, who also owns Leroy’s Bagels on 29th Ave, said they listened to community feedback and have tried to tailor the business to fill a need in the neighborhood. She and her partners heard the love for a community spot and the concerns about more change and felt keeping the existing structure with a new business would be a win-win.
In the mornings, Radiator has a grab and go counter for coffee, bagels, and other light foods as well as indoor and outdoor seating. They hope they can attract the typical coffee shop patron, the laptop-toting set, as well as people wanting a community space for meetings. Green said they are using Pablo’s coffee to keep a casual feel, “serving an unpretentious cup of good coffee.”
At night Radiator becomes a neighborhood bar, serving wine, beer, and light food items sourced from Leroy’s Bagels and other local businesses: pizza bagels, bagel chips, and more items to be determined. They are planning on a full liquor license down the road as well. “It’s not the ‘close it down’ spot,” explained Green, hoping they draw from the surrounding neighborhood which has many young families who want a night out but may also want to bring their kids. While the inside has a distinct “bar” feel (including liquor lockers for rent and a new long bar decorated in pennies), they’re looking into a play area outside and want to make the space kid friendly as well.
Outdoor seating, a potential play area for kids, and other new additions are possible because of the new patio area on the west side of the building. A glass garage door also opens up that side of the building, creating more light and connecting the indoor and outdoor spaces.
With the newly reopened Ernest Food Hall at 44th and Federal on one end, Monkey Barrel’s new food truck model at 44th and Tejon at the other, and a growing number of businesses in the middle, 44th Ave is increasingly becoming a destination area for North Denver residents.
Radiator opened on August 15 and is located at 2139 W 44th Ave in the Sunnyside neighborhood.