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Exploding whipped cream (here atop a frozen mocha) returns to Denver via Ian Kleinman's forthcoming SloHi shop. (Photo courtesy of the Inventing Room Dessert Shop)

The Inventing Room Puts Down New Roots

Chef Ian Kleinman moves forward with new brick-and-mortar concepts, a name change, and virtual reality desserts.

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If you think buying a new home in our crazy local real estate market is difficult, imagine trying to find a retail space with ample square footage, parking for customers, an outdoor patio, and a separate space for private parties. Preferably in a residential neighborhood. That was chef Ian Kleinman’s challenge after he was forced to close the Inventing Room’s original molecular gastronomy sweets shop on Lawrence Street last year.

Well, sugar lovers, get ready to get giddy because Kleinman is set to open his new brick-and-mortar—now called the Inventing Room Dessert Shop—in the SloHi Village development at Tennyson and 29th later this summer. (Big plans are in the works overseas, too: By mid-summer, he should open two new shops (with two more in the works) in malls in Qatar, and in the fall, he’ll open a brick-and-mortar in Dubai based on the runaway success of his current semi-mobile operation there.)

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Back to the local shop: We asked Kleinman what he has in store for Mile High diners in his new space, and his answers blew our minds. “We’ve gone into the lab and done fun stuff, playing with some technology,” says Kleinman. “I’m really into getting all of your senses to work while you’re eating something.” His fascination with feeling, smelling, and seeing while noshing on desserts has led to a new virtual reality S’mores Waffle experience: Diners will don VR goggles, hit play, and take bites of their s’mores waffle—a double chocolate beauty with graham cracker ice cream and burnt marshmallow—while watching themselves careen down a chocolate river via boat as flaming marshmallow meteorites fall from the sky and crash around them, splashing melted chocolate everywhere. “We’re working on the program with some kids from CU Denver,” Kleiman says, “to make it a total Willy Wonka experience.”

Wonka said it best: “So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

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