Work & Class, a Latin American restaurant in Denver's Five Points neighborhood, is what happens when you bring together two unlikely flavors — and that's not referring to the food.

“She’s pretty tough,” said owner Tony Maciag. “I'm pretty salty.”

Maciag is the the bartender from Detroit.

“I'm a Midwestern guy,” Maciag said. “So some of that 'comfort food' sort of thing.”

And Dana Rodriguez is the chef from Mexico.

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“I came here almost for vacation and I saw a sign that they're hiring and I said, 'Okay, if they hire me, I stay. If not I keep moving,'” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez got the job and started working at a restaurant in Denver. A few months later, Maciag got a job behind the bar.

“We just became friends,” Maciag said.

That friendship turned into a business plan combining Midwestern comfort food with Latin classics.

“You can make really basic things, mac-n-cheese, rice and beans,” Maciag said. “But using all her techniques and training makes it taste really good.”

And it does taste really good. Plus, they have happy hour that'll actually fill you up.

“We said, 'What if we make something really good for $5, you can eat at happy hour and be done for the day,” Rodriguez said.

It's called the Early Work Release program (for those who can get in before 6 p.m. on weekdays.)

It features classics like green-chile cheese fries, halibut fritters, a vegetarian chile relleno and (a favorite), the chipotle chicken pot pie

“A lot of places, it's, 'Lets be as cheap as possible,'" Maciag said. “We wanted to class it up a bit."

“I guarantee you walk happy out of the door,” Rodriguez said.

And she’s right.

Work & Class's happy hour is Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

The dishes range from $5 to $8. House beer and wine is $4.

> Click/tap here to visit Work & Class's website.

They also have a new restaurant that just opened across the street in RINO called Super Mega Bien.

> Click/tap here to visit Super Mega Bien's website.

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