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Last month, after 44 years at its South Broadway location, Famous Pizza closed. Its soon-to-come replacement? A second Denver location of Portland-born Voodoo Doughnuts. In many ways, the news felt emblematic of the larger changes taking place in the city: Out with the longstanding independently owned slice shop, in with the buzzy national chain.
Last week, however, we caught wind of another Denver doughnut development. Carbon Café & Bar and Habit Doughnut Dispensary, both the brainchildren of Denver-born restaurateur Lisa Ruskaup, are expanding to Five Points. As with Carbon/Habit’s first iteration in the historic Paris on the Platte coffee shop, the new location is storied. 2200 California Street, a 118-year-old antique brick structure that was most recently used as a garage for the owner’s Porsche collection, will become a tastefully restored and preserved venue for Carbon’s casual all-day eats and Habit’s colorful brioche doughnuts.
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Ruskaup chose the location thanks to the unique opportunity she saw to “create a microcosm in the new neighborhood with Woods Boss Brewing, and support them as a restaurant.” Plus, she adds, “having a bakery in your neighborhood that serves sweet fried dough and booze is never bad.”
It’s already been a big year for Ruskaup, who opened Dead Battery Club on Platte Street in April. She also hired Don Hart to serve as area director for her newly formed Habit Carbon Hospitality Collective. Hart, who brings years of industry experience (including stints at Barcelona Wine Bar and Thomas Keller’s Bouchon), will help oversee all of the expansion Ruskaup envisions for her brands. “We do have some preliminary work with a franchise group,” Ruskaup says of Habit and Carbon, “and we’re actively looking in old town Englewood and exploring Golden and Arvada as well.”
Look for the second locations of Carbon and Habit to open in Five Points sometime this winter.