A notice on the door of Adrift, at 218 South Broadway, shares the news that the tiki bar and Polynesian restaurant will be closed while a remodel, new menu and heightened service get underway, as Westword reported on Monday. The venue, which opened in 2012, was purchased by Generator, the real estate group that owns Little Man Ice Cream. The firm has also developed iconic local restaurants, including Linger, Root Down, Bacon Social House.
"It's a real departure for us," says Paul Tamburello, owner of GENERATOR. He hopes to reimagine the new restaurant into a more immersive, experiential destination. Referencing Little Man's mantra that business exists to make a difference, he speaks of giving back and the ice cream shop's Scoop for Scoop program, that matches ice cream with donations of rice, beans and other essentials for international communities, from Uganda to Peru.
Describing the opening night of Adrift, Tamburello, a Denver native, describes the eatery as "kitschy," then going on to say his 28-foot milk can – the original location of Little Man – also has some "silliness and whimsy." Façade enhancements will include removing dividing walls, highlighting the bar with opaque accents and generally creating a space that encourages community.
"I've never owned a restaurant," Tamburrelo says. "I've worked with a lot of restaurant owners, but have never run a restaurant. I have a lot to learn."
Seeking to update the menu beyond the typical hamburger with pineapple on top, Tamburello mentioned traditional dishes such as huli huli chicken and lots of fish amidst community tables and conversations.
The restaurant is slated to reopen in approximately three weeks.
Also on deck for the Little Man team – two additional openings: an ice cream and handmade chocolate shop in Congress Park, set to open by November, and a location on West Colfax, that has expanded from its original design plan to a 6,000-square-foot facility. According to Tamburello, that location won't open until early 2017.