Mile High ice cream-lovers are lucky; there is no shortage of local places to visit to satisfy their cravings. And since Telluride-born favorite, There, began churning house-made gelato in LoHi earlier this year, Denverites can enjoy yet another sweet option.
Oren Cohen, co-owner of There, has been with the restaurant since it opened in Telluride in 2010. When the opportunity arose to expand into a second location in Denver, Cohen and business partner Andrew Tyler jumped on it. “The fact that we were able to open in Denver while the Telluride location still thrives is beautiful,” he said. In September, they opened a market next door dubbed the Wheelbench, which offers fresh produce, simple ingredients such as dairy products and locally grown quinoa, and take-home items like house-made pasta and marinated vegetables from There’s kitchen.
One standout item available at both the Wheelbench and There is Cohen’s house-made gelato. “We always end meals at There with a plate of apples, Parmesan cheese, honey, and a few spoonfuls of gelato,” Cohen said. “We quickly realized that the plate would be more tasteful and unique with house-made gelato, so we’ve been testing our audience with new flavors to see how people react. It seems like people are pretty stoked on gelato.”
Cohen strains a batch of gelato. —Photo by Sarah Strohl
Cohen stays after service, sometimes until the early morning hours, to make the gelato and experiment with flavor combinations. “It’s a Zen thing for me, getting to come in here and crack some eggs and whip some cream and just get creative with it,” he explained. Flavors currently include vanilla, peanut butter-pretzel, mint chocolate chip, oatmeal cookie, sweet cream with fudge, chocolate, and chai, but Cohen plans to incorporate increasingly unique flavors in the coming weeks. “I find inspiration almost everywhere I go, but I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with teas. There’s a beautiful delicacy to those flavors, and they are natural, not preserved. We like our flavors to be as pure and untouched as possible.”
Cohen’s of-the-moment gelato flavors can be sampled nightly in There’s dining room, and sweet seekers can also find pints for sale at the Wheelbench, which is open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily.
3254 Navajo St., 720-500-3254