An experienced restaurateur takes over the former Rosemary Café.
The restaurant, which closed in May after decades at 2133 S. Sheridan Blvd. in Denver, was leased to Jelly Cafe owner Josh Epps.
But don’t expect a third Jelly location from Epps, which opened the first at 600 E. 13th Ave. at Cap Hill in 2010 and added a second near the University of Denver in 2012.
He plans to turn Rosemary into the Harvey Park Grille, in a bid to fill what he sees as “a big hole” in the neighborhood’s dining scene.
“We’ll be doing lunch, dinner, and probably weekend brunch,” Epps said Thursday.
Epps said he wasn’t really looking to do another restaurant, but had lived two blocks away in the Harvey Park neighborhood for more than half a decade. He was waiting to see what would happen to the old restaurant, he said, when his girlfriend asked him how he would feel if someone else rented it out and did something unspectacular.
“And I said, I’ll never forgive myself,” Epps said.
Epps signed a 10-year lease with Denver-based EXDO Group Cos., which purchased the 5,100 square foot building in mid-may for $1.8 million. EXDO COO Kevin Preblud said the company also purchased a few adjacent plots.
“We just think it’s an area that needs a little love,” Preblud said.
Epps said he expects to spend about $750,000 to renovate the restaurant. It plans to have a full bar, with draft beers and cocktails, but said it was too early to discuss the specifics of the menu, although it aims to offer dishes under $15.
Epps said the area lacked food offerings other than the cafeteria, though he complimented nearby Jaimes Mexican Restaurant. He said Jelly patrons will “recognize the care that goes into the food” at Harvey Park Grille, but he really tries to be a “neighborhood place.”
“It’s one of the last untouched parts of Denver where you don’t see the scrapes to build a state-of-the-art home,” he said of Harvey Park.
“We don’t want to alienate half of our clientele with pretentious, elevated food,” Epps added.
Epps also previously owned the now closed Tennyson Street burger spot, The Royal. He opened it in 2014 and sold three years later.