August 27 2009, 1:12 PM
Leave it to Joe Vostrejs, the mastermind behind the revamped Billy's Inn, Tocabe, and Larimer Square's dining and retail, to bring better dining to Lowry. It's all part of a plan that will covert the existing Hangar 2 (once part of the Lowry Air Force base) into self-storage, while building a thriving restaurant district around it. As a Lowry dweller himself (Vostrejs was one of the first 10 families to move into the development, in 1998), he's plugged into the area's needs. "The Town Center is fine," he says, "but Lowry needs its own version of 32nd and Lowell--something that's the center of gravity, that's local, authentic, and has an orientation that's for the neighborhood." To do that, he's talking with a number of restaurants (including those from Larimer Square). While no commitments have been made, Vostrejs is clear about his vision: local operators and local chefs. And he plans to cover all the bases of food and beverage. "A bohemian coffee shop, maybe a gelato spot, a wine bar, a nice neighborhood white-tablecloth restaurant, a hip neighborhood bar, maybe a couple ethnic restaurants," he adds. "We'll really try and come up with a lineup that the neighbors can use morning, noon, and night." The project is still in the approval process--and will be for the next six months--but Vostrejs is excited about the possibilities, including the construction of buildings that are specifically purposed for food and beverage. "These will be built with beautiful outdoor seating areas in mind," he says. "We'll be taking things into account like where the sun hits. And if a spot gets a lot of morning sun, that'll be a breakfast spot." It's fair to say that given the dearth of restaurants in Lowry--and nearby Park Hill--there's a hungry audience out there just waiting and hoping Vostrejs' plans all pan out.