It has been a big year for Avanti Food & Beverage in LoHi, with exciting new stall additions, themed pop-up bars, and a handful of restaurant concepts graduating from the food hall to their own brick-and-mortar settings. The latest of the bunch is Quiero Arepas, an 8-year-old food truck and Avanti counter that’s finally moving into its own space in the current home of Makan Malaysian Cafe on Old South Pearl Street.
With Makan closing on December 22, Quiero Arepas will take over the lease January 1 and open sometime in early 2019, Westword reports. For now, Arepas owners Igor and Beckie Panasewicz are also planning on keeping their Avanti stall open. But the new restaurant will allow them some more kitchen space and an expanded, all gluten-free menu. From the current stall and food truck, the couple serves corn-flour sandwich pockets stuffed to the brim with hit combinations like El Caribe — avocado, smoked salmon, fried plantains, guasacaca (avocado salsa), capers, and shredded cheese.
Makan owner Karen Wee Lin Tan Beckman last week announced that she would close her 6-year-old Platt Park restaurant at the end of December. She and the Panasewiczs are old farmers’ market friends, and it was Beckman’s idea for them to take the lease over, they told Westword. Fans of Denver’s only Malaysian cafe have a little over two weeks to go back for Beckman’s Char Kueh Tiao, a Penang street food staple of stir-fried rice noodles.