Glendale CitySet restaurants say the city has welcomed them with open arms
The current Westword cover story, "Fantasy Island," tells of Glendale's quest to build a riverwalk along Cherry Creek full of restaurants, theaters and bars serving booze in to-go cups. To make this dream project a reality, Glendale officials have made a series of smaller civic improvements -- which, in turn, have led to more private development.
Lori Midson A painting above the bar at Cuba Cuba Sandwicheria in Glendale's CitySet.
That development includes CitySet, described in a glowing press release by its design company as "the state's first blended 'urban gastronomic urban village' and hotel district."
No matter what you call it, CitySet has attracted several high-profile restaurants, including Cuba Cuba Sandwicheria, Jax Fish House and Udi's. We caught up with some of the folks behind these restaurants to talk about doing business in today's Glendale.
Kristy Socarras Bigelow says she and her husband decided to open the second outpost of Cuba Cuba Sandwicheria in Glendale (the first is in Boulder; the family also owns the original Cuba Cuba in Denver) because "We thought this whole area was kind of a fresh, new area to put some cool food." But she admits she wasn't always sold on the idea.
Lori Midson The bar at Cuba Cuba Sandwicheria.
"When (my husband) came to me and said, 'Glendale,' I was like, 'Really?'" she recalls. "And then I started going up and down Colorado Boulevard and meeting people in the area and I was like, 'This is prime.' We looked at four different developments up and down Colorado but we thought CitySet was the coolest concept."
That concept, according to the aforementioned press release, is a seven-acre development complete with a "strazza" -- a street/plaza, in designer-speak -- that connects the eleven restaurants that will ultimately be located there, as well as CitySet's two hotels. The restaurants include those mentioned above, plus another link in a local chain, Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, as well as outposts of national chains Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, Panera Bread and Big Smoke Burger (which is actually out of Canada). This fall Native Foods Cafe and another as-yet unnamed restaurant will open in the complex, according to Danny Craig, spokesman for the designer. The lineup will be complete when a Glendale version of The Kitchen [Next Door] opens in December.
Continue for more about Jax Fish House and Udi's.