KUSA - If the nation's best city to live, start a business, be outdoors, and be single wasn't enough Denver is towards the top of another list: The nation's best restaurant cities.
Denver came in third behind Los Angeles and Washington D.C. in the recent Zagat poll, and it's not just the taste of the food that makes us stand out - it's the atmosphere that can be found in places like the new Stanley Marketplace.
The mini-mall of sorts has been under construction for nearly two years at the former Stanley Aviation building in Aurora.
This past weekend, Cheluna Brewery opened its doors -- the first of the 54 stores in the building to do so.
The different shops will range from restaurants to breweries to wine stores to even a dentist.
“We’re finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel,” developer Mark Shaker said. “It’s sort of like a dream come true.”
The Stanley Marketplace wasn’t just thought up as a way to make money. It was derived as a community of collaboration and partnership.
“We're creating like a little family over here and that's what we're trying to do,” Gonzo Jimenez said, part-owner of Miette et Chocolat, a gourmet chocolate store that plans to open on Monday.
“This is what we've always wanted to do was have our own creative freedom,” added Jimenez’s partner David Lewis. “You know every time we come here we stand right there in our little corner and look at our little shop and don't soak in what everything else is going to be.”
When Lewis and Jimenez open their doors come Monday, it'll be the first time the high-end pastry chefs will have ever been able to call a place their own. It's a similar story for some of the 54 other storefronts that will join them here.
“I think we got in here at the right time when we wanted to. We saw the Stanley's vision and we saw our vision and when those two things came together we stuck with it,” Lewis said.
The Stanley Marketplace used to be the old Stanley Aviation Center.
It was set to open in November but construction was pushed back so they are planning to have a full opening come February.
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