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Work In Progress: Jeff Osaka, A Man with a Plan

The Market at the HH Tammen Building opening Summer 2015

By Elizabeth Woessner | Online Editor

When Jeff Osaka, a 2014 James Beard semi-finalist, closed the doors of the much beloved Twelve Restaurant Denver food-lovers mourned. But with hopes of a new Twelve Restaurant in an undetermined location and the announcement that he would soon open Osaka Ramen {2611 Walnut Street, Denver} and Sushi Rama {2601 Larimer Street, Denver}, we all heaved a sigh of relief in the knowledge that we would soon be eating Osaka’s food once again.

Osaka seems to be on a roll and he’s not done yet. Osaka has once again partnered with prolific Denver commercial real estate developer, Kenneth Wolf, to open The Market at the H.H. Tammen Building, a 12,000-square-foot culinary emporium and food hall, which will share space with Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club and hausdesign, an award-winning design firm that crafts state-of-the-art kitchens.

The Market, located at 2669 Larimer Street, will stretch across two-thirds of the ground floor space currently occupied by Motorsports Gallery–and, for years, was home to the H.H. Tammen Curio Company, a business that manufactured and sold Native American crafts for more than 45 years. The founder of that company, Harry Haye Tammen, was also one of the original owners of The Denver Post.

The Market, Building

Modeled after urbanized food culture favorites like Oakland’s Rockridge Market Hall, The Market at the H.H. Tammen Building will feature 13 food-and-beverage merchants, including a rotisserie, deli, salumi and cheese shop, produce and flower market, retail fish market, ice cream parlor, bakery, coffee house, candy store, butchery, wine bar, dry goods market, and dessert emporium. While seating will be limited within the individual spaces, the quarters will lay claim to a common seating area and two patios that face the front of the historic building.

“Think of it as an airy and wide open food hall set up as a gourmet marketplace, where each vendor offers guests something that they can eat onsite, or take on the go,” says Wolf, adding that the reasoning behind launching the Market stems from the absence of a fully-developed culinary core in the RiNo neighborhood. “I live six blocks away from here, and I’ve noticed that what’s really lacking in this neighborhood is a gourmet marketplace–a one-stop culinary immersion experience, where you can buy fresh-baked bread, have a glass of wine, buy your groceries, get an ice cream cone, and pick up a couple of steaks or some great seafood for dinner,” adds Wolf, who’s also the developer behind Osaka Ramen, located just a block west of the Market. “The goal is to make this corridor the signature core for people who want to eat, drink, and shop without having to go out of their way to do so,” stresses Wolf.

The Market at HH Tammen

Wolf and Osaka are currently soliciting vendors interested in leasing the available spaces, all of which are between 328 and 1,234-square-feet and offer three- or five-year leasing terms. “We’re carrying on H.H. Tammen’s vision with a community market that features fresh and local produce, wine and coffee, meats and cheeses, dry goods, and baked goods all under one historic roof, and we think this is going to be an incredibly dynamic mix of vendors, all of whom will have the ability to run their businesses as owners,” says Wolf.

With all these plans in the works, Osaka fans will have a lot to be thankful for in 2015.