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Former El Diablo Owner Jesse Morreale Returns with Highland-Sunnyside Venture

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The restaurateur has partnered with Larimer Associates for a new restaurant in North Denver

Jesse Morreale
Jesse Morreale
Kathleen Lavine for DBJ

Restaurateur Jesse Morreale dropped off the local hospitality map after he shuttered El Diablo and Rockbar after months of drama with the City of Denver. Today, he announced that in a month, he'll open a new restaurant in partnership with Larimer Associates / City Street Investors. The group has extensive experience in restaurants and hospitality, serving as partners to several big name local chefs, including Troy Guard and Lon Symensma.

Brainchild of Morreale, the future spot wants to be unpretentious, fun, and welcoming with broad appeal to the diverse demographics of the neighborhood. "I get a lot of satisfaction from taking on projects in areas that some may view as undesirable or transitional, and creating authentic restaurants and bars that honor the neighborhood rather than disclaim it," he said. He added that his concept for the new restaurant/bar is intentionally crafted to provide an affordable alternative to the more pricey restaurant and bar options blanketing much of the area.

"Our M.O. is "custom crafting" - building concepts that fit with the neighborhood," said Joe Vostrejs of Larimer Associates / City Street Investors. "We wanted an edgy concept designed from the ground up to specifically serve the demographic and location, and Jesse is the perfect partner to make this vision a reality. His proven track record of creating successful businesses in transitional neighborhoods and on traffic corridors was exactly what we were looking for at this location, and we're excited to see him in action."

This location, which has yet to be disclosed, was described as "on a traffic corridor on the border of the Highlands and Sunnyside neighborhoods." If we had to guess, we'd say it is the former Sunnyside Burger Bar/TAG Burger Bar space at 38th & Lipan.