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The Inventing Room Dessert Shop's pineapple “Gobblepop” with pomegranate pop rocks. Photo by Rachel Adams

Opening Alert: The Inventing Room Dessert Shop

Chef-owner Ian Kleinman’s new West Highland sugar palace will surprise and delight Denverites of all ages.

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It’s fair to say that Denver is a hard-core ice cream town. And it’s just about time to welcome back a local master: Ian Kleinman of the Inventing Room Dessert Shop. He and his wife, Stacey (aka the Director of Everything), have been working for months on the buildout of their new shrine to sugar and science. The doors will open on Sunday, October 29.

From their new location in a mixed-use building at West 29th Avenue and Tennyson Street, which Kleinman designed himself, Denverites will be treated to many of the Inventing Room’s oldies and goodies (think free nitrogen popcorn to munch on as you wait in line, sweet and savory cotton candy flavors made from custom sugars, and exploding whipped cream, of course), but also to new items such as butterbeer (à la Harry Potter), nitro-tempered chocolate garnishes, and an artisanal hard candy program, among other fanciful creations. “I want to be playful with the concept of candy,” Kleinman says, “and make things that are not in the market anywhere.”

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The menu is certainly unique, consisting of sweet snacks, desserts, and specialty drinks. “We want to do fun stuff that is not only from our childhoods, but from our kid’s childhoods,” says Kleinman. “I want to bring those things to life.” One delicious example: A dish called “compressed apple pie,” consisting of vacuum sealed marinated apples with homemade salted butterscotch, browned butter bits, and the aforementioned whipped cream.

The Kleinmans have also worked hard to bring the space to life. Not only is there a large portrait of Gene Wilder (a nod to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), but there’s a gorgeous rolling ball art piece made from found objects that Kleinman spent months building in his backyard; Stacey chose the vintage paperwork that decorates the piece. There’s a selfie station made from the wooden arch that the Kleinmans were married under, and items that belonged to his grandfather decorating the walls. “All of this is inspired by my grandfather,” Kleinman says. “His welding helmets are on the wall and a picture of us when he was teaching me how to ride a bike. Sugar Land [the candy-making station] is actually the woodworking table he had in his shop for 40 years, which I brought back and refinished.” Clearly, the stories behind the shop are just as sweet as the edible offerings.

The charming dessert emporium will offer its mix of nostalgia, whimsy, and science starting on October 29, and going forward, will be open from noon until 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Also note that there’s an underground parking garage with 50 free spaces for customers to the west of the store.

4433 West 29th Avenue, 303-960-6656

Denise Mickelsen, Food Editor

Denise Mickelsen oversees all of 5280’s food-related coverage, and feels damn lucky to do so. Follow her on Instagram @DeniseMickelsen.

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