The 100-year-old historic Riverside building alongside Boulder Creek at 1724 Broadway in Boulder has sat dormant for years. In late 2014, Food at the Riverside, from chef Corey Buck (previously of John's Restaurant) revitalized the space with their cafe and restaurant concept, alongside the building opening up to host events and co-working. In less than a year, the restaurant shuttered and in its place came Per La Gente.
Per La Gente, Italian for "for the people," quietly opened in mid-November by chef and owner, Lewis Guarasci. Along with his small staff, the group all hail from The Little Nell Hotel in Aspen, where Guarasci was the executive chef at Ajax Tavern. Starting at age 15, Guarasci spent the first part of his career at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs under the famed Culinary Olympian, executive chef Siegfried Eisenberger.
The Riverside building still hosts co-working space, and in its front Light Room where the bar resides, there's room for live music and events. In the cafe space, Per La Gente seats 20 and in its Creek Room overlooking Boulder Creek in back, seats up to 30. Per La Gente plans on opening up to the Light Room and adding more seats which might give them an additional 60, and for warmer months, the patio on the creek also provides more tables.
A Colorado native and Italian by heritage, Guarasci loves to cook Italian — it's where he feels "most sincere" with his cooking. Per La Gente allows him to fulfill that dream with his first restaurant to cook for the people, with approachable Italian-inspired food.
A self-described purist, Guarasci is making everything but the bread from scratch. He plans to bake his own bread when he has the oven space. With just one other chef in the kitchen, Chris Carillo, the two man team tackles everything from desserts to the house-made burrata. The menu will rotate to reflect seasonal ingredient.
Per La Gente is open everyday except Monday, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.