Capitol Hill Italian eatery Angelo’s Taverna opens shared space with Carboy in Littleton
By: Kyle Harding
After more than 40 years serving up Italian fare on Capitol Hill, Angelo’s Taverna has opened a second location, this one in Littleton, and it includes an on-location urban winery, something co-owner Craig Jones says is unique in Colorado.
Carboy Winery shares the building, located at 6885 S. Santa Fe Drive, with Angelo’s, and its vintner’s license allows drinks to be carried across the premises.
“I’ve lived in Littleton for 16 years,” said Jones, who purchased the restaurant four years ago with Eric Hyatt, explaining why he chose the location for Angelo’s suburban outpost.
Many customers of the original 6th Avenue location drive from as far away as Highlands Ranch to eat at Angelo’s regularly, Jones said.
The restaurant, along with the winery, will give suburban diners a closer option, Jones said.
“The thing about the suburbs is you have a lot of chain restauants and people want the unique, chic experience they get in Denver,” he said.
The winery, owned by Gabriel Aragonsources wines from regions all over the world and puts its own twist on some of them by aging them further or creating blends.
“We’re doing something that in the Old World is not that uncommon,” said sommelier Kevin Webber, who is Carboy’s director of sales and marketing.
Bry binging wines from different regions under the Carboy label, Webber said, the winery will allow people to try fine wines at a lower price.
“Wine has a stigma that really good, exceptional wine is for people in the know or people with deep pockets,” he said.
Per-glass prices for Carboy wines on the Angelo’s wine list range from $8 to $10.
The winery also will try to incorporate more Colorado-grown wines into its menu, Webber said.
Carboy is an urban winery, meaning it has no vineyard of its own. While wineries located in viticultural areas attempt to lure drinkers to their rural settings and persuade them to join wine clubs, urban wineries bring the product to the consumer. The model also lowers the barrier of entry to becoming a winemaker.
Next year, Carboy will begin fermenting its own wine from whole grapes that it sources from vineyards, said winemaker Tyzok Wharton, and will eventually produce about 125,000 bottles per year.
“Not everybody is privileged with the land,” said Wharton, who previously worked at an urban winery in San Francisco that primarily sourced fruit from Northern California’s Sonoma Valley wine region.
Carboy is also taking a page from craft breweries that dot the Denver area, offering growler fills of wine to take home. In addition, it serves beer from local breweries, including its neighbor, Breckenridge Brewery. It has 14 wines, and Webber said that Vin 59, a red blend of Zinfandel, Syrah and Malbec, is currently the flagship wine.
“It’s kind of a wine for everybody,” he said.
Inside the restaurant side of the 10,000-square-foot building, design cues evoke the original location of Angelo’s, with a large circular bar, brick walls, stained glass and a glass display wall full of bottles of limoncello, an Italian lemon liqueur.
When Jones and Hyatt bough Angelo’s four years ago,they added an oyster bar to the standard Italian fare, something that carries over to the new location.
While the original Angelo’s benefits from a location in a walkable neighborhood, the Littleton location does not have the same advantage. However, Jones said it has drawn about 500 diners on weekends since its soft opening earlier this month. He said getting customers out on weekday nights is what it needs to do to remain successful after its grand opening on Sept. 29.
“Like any restaurant,” he said, “it’s going to take a while to get people out here on a Monday or Tuesday.”