After 14 years in Aspen, Michael Beary will bring his Oaxacan restaurant, Zocalito Latin Bistro, to Denver at 999 18th Street. The new urban location within the Denver Place Building has been vacant since Baja Fresh Mexican Grill shuttered in 2016. Zocalito’s Denver outpost will offer a menu familiar to anyone who visited the Aspen location — inspired by Beary’s travels throughout Mexico and a strong chile import program that brings nearly extinct varietals to a Colorado audience.
Designed by local firm KD Fikso, the 1,600-square-foot space will be covered in colorful textiles, Mexican costumes, and other Oaxacan art. The 100-seat dining room and 50-seat patio separated by folding glass doors will also be decorated with a floor-to-ceiling mural running the length of the space, along with vintage photographs of Latin America by Beary’s aunt.
Centered around rare chiles such as chilhuacles and chilcosles, the menu includes stuffed peppers and a pork tenderloin with red mole sauce and sautéed cactus. The bar menu spotlights tequilas and mezcals and cocktails such as margaritas and mojitos. Though the official opening date hasn’t been announced, Zocalito’s should debut before year’s end.