First look: Comida, Rayme Rossello's cantina, opens today at The Source
All photos by Lori Midson.
After months...and months...and months of hungry impatience on the part of Denverites yearning for a year-round culinary showroom, The Source, a promising -- and pioneering -- new project from urban developers Mickey and Kyle Zeppelin, the progressive trailblazers behind the TAXI development in River North, unveils its first tenant today: Comida, Rayme Rossello's Mexican cantina, will open at 11 a.m.
And Rossello, who began her career with Proto's Pizza in 1999 before rolling out the Comida food truck in 2010 and capitalizing on its street cred success in 2012 with a brick-and-mortar by the same name in Longmont, isn't just the first resident of The Source to open her doors: She was also the first to sign a lease.
"Signature, independent restaurants are a very large component of The Source, and Comida was an ideal fit, not least because this is a project that requires vision and boldness -- and Rayme has both," says Zeppelin, whose behemoth, grafittied epicenter of cookery, cuisine and liquid assets has been in the works for three years. "Her ideas and strong convictions are representative of where this project started, where it is now and where it's going," he adds.
Rossello met Zeppelin and his wife Andra, now the editor of Eater Denver, just three weeks after she opened Comida in Longmont -- and while she admits that she was in absolutely no hurry to open a second location, an e-mail from Andra spiked her interest. "She sent me an e-mail saying that she and Kyle were doing this new project in Denver and wondered if I'd be interested in sitting down and talking about it," recalls Rossello. And the meeting that followed, says Rossello, solidified that interest. "It wasn't that they just wanted me to be a part of this -- they wanted me to be at the front of it, and while this process has really stretched me, I feel really appreciated and proud to be a part of it."
"Some people would say she's a badass," quips Zeppelin, who stresses that Rossello's confidence -- and the fact that she "takes the clearest path to where she's going" -- was exactly the kind of tenant that The Source, which occupies a former foundry, was looking for. "There's no drama with Rayme; she's someone who really cares about what she's doing and she stepped up and saw the same potential and vision that we saw," he says.