First look: Maddie's, a new breakfast and lunch restaurant, opens Friday near the DU campus
Gayor Geller grew up in Harvard Gulch, a tree-lined neighborhood near the University of Denver, and Maddie's, the breakfast and lunch restaurant he's opening on Friday morning in that same 'hood, is a "family project," he says, that's been a dream for decades.
"I've lived in this neighborhood for most of my life, I went to DU, and 25 or 30 years ago, my mom had a dream that we'd someday open a family business," says Geller, who holds a law degree from DU, along with three other degrees, including an MBA and certified professional accreditation from the American Culinary Federation; he also went through the professional cooking program at the Cook Street School of Culinary Arts.
And Maddie's -- the restaurant is named after his two-year-old daughter -- is, he says, a "vibrant place that's all about good food, hospitality and music." The music portion of the equation, explains Geller, comes from a background of managing jam bands and music festivals across the country. "I was on the road all the time, but I also taught music at UCD, and I still produce concerts in Denver, and the space reflects my passion for music and food."
Music and concert posters hang from the putty-hued walls, and the quarters -- they're small and only seat sixteen (the patio can hold an additional dozen) -- are bedecked with candy-apple-red chairs, white tables and a few stools that sit below a TV that's tuned to the Food Network.
And breakfast is the main draw. "My parents are Israeli, and I grew up on Mediterranean food, so there's a bit of that inspiration on the menu, including our flight of housemade latkes," says Geller, who adds that his favorite meal of the day is breakfast. "I love breakfast, and while we're not reinventing the wheel with this menu, we're taking things that are really yummy and creating great flavor profiles," he says.