Blue Island Seafood & Oyster Bar and SOL Mexican Cocina are coming to 250 Columbine, the mixed-use development now under construction in Cherry Creek North.
The seafood restaurant is a local company, Concept Restaurants, which created Rialto Cafe, Spruce, Humboldt, and Stout Street Social. Blue Island Seafood & Oyster Bar will be the company's first restaurant in Cherry Creek.
"We wanted the right space," said Sean Huggard, operations director for Concept Restaurants. "Seafood is not cheap, so we were looking for that higher-end demographic."
Huggard, who once worked as a Nantucket chef, is a friend of Chris Quartuccio, an oyster diver and farmer on the East Coast who owns Blue Island Oyster Co., which supplies many of Manhattan's top restaurants. Quartuccio is a financial partner with Blue Island Seafood & Oyster, which expects to open in August.
To select the second restaurant, the developers scanned the current restaurant scene and decided an upscale Mexican restaurant would be good. They really liked SOL Cocina, which has restaurants in Newport Beach, Calif., and Scottsdale, Ariz. — and Deborah Schneider, executive chef and partner at SOL Cocina, focuses on the coastal cuisine of Baja California.
A visit to the Newport Beach venue captivated Roy Kline, a managing director at Western Development Group in Denver, which is working on the project.
"It's really cool, right on the water in Newport," he said. "They do a great job, and it's really fun because when they sell a shot of tequila, it's presented Mexican-style with a little shooter of tomato juice."
OK, in Denver you won't be imbibing on the waterfront — but SOL Cocina will have a sidewalk patio.