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Central Bistro and Bar will Become Candela Latin Kitchen

The concept will open later this month

Executive Chef Jesse Vega, Central Bistro & Bar

Jesse Vega, Central Bistro & Bar

Central Bistro and Bar will say its final farewells to the Highlands area, offering its final dinner service this Sunday, June 11th. But don’t worry, owner Isiah Salazar and Executive Chef Jesse Vega aren’t going anywhere. Instead, the team plans to revamp the space, unveiling Candela Latin Kitchen {1691 Central Street, Denver} later this month.

Both Salazar and Vega initiated the change of concept as a way to keep up with the Denver dining scene. “We’ve loved being a part of the LoHi neighborhood since we first opened Central Bistro and Bar in 2012,” says Isiah Salazar. “With the constantly evolving food scene, we knew we wanted to refresh the concept and when we started thinking about what the neighborhood was missing and what we were passionate about—we landed on a Latin kitchen. Our hope is that Candela will be a new go-to spot for those in the neighborhood that crave vibrant flavors and crafted cocktails at an affordable price point.”

The new restaurant will draw from both Salazar and Vega’s cultural backgrounds, introducing affordable Latin offerings to LoHi. “Jesse and I have now been working together for over four years and when we first started discussing wanting to make a change for Central Bistro and Bar, we dove into a deep discussion about our heritage and backgrounds and ultimately came to an understanding that we wanted to create a menu that was influenced by the food we grew up eating,” said owner Isiah Salazar. “Jesse grew up in Queens, New York enjoying his mothers and grandmothers Puerto Rican food and I grew up in Denver enjoying all the Mexican flavors in North Denver and from my grandparents. We ultimately wanted to cook and serve the food that is nostalgic to us.”

The 3,000 square-foot cantina-style restaurant will offer casual takes on traditional Latin offerings paired with aesthetic elements including Latin street art, hardwood floors, and Spanish wall tiles. Guests can expect a diverse menu of antojitos (little cravings), crudo (raw), mofongo, and tacos. The restaurant will maintain its open-air patio space and large bar, perfect for the upcoming summer weather.

Look for Candela Latin Kitchen near the end of the month.

Morgan Carter, Editor