Denver, CO Architects

Izakaya Den

  • Denver, CO

Identified by Zagat as the 'sushi capital of Denver,' the popular Sushi Den has been a Colorado culinary hot spot for 27 years. This project more than doubled the restaurant's existing space to a total of 10,000 square feet, and the adjacent space—currently occupied by the Pearl Street Grill—was replaced by a two-story building. The new space is connected to Sushi Den through an expanded 'shared-use' kitchen and back-of-house functions, but functions as a aesthetically distinct, separate restaurant with its own unique identity and name. The new restaurant enhances the Sushi Den's modernist feel and features Japanese cuisine with a sake bar, sushi bar, tearooms and a substantial outdoor dining area. The new venue's interior is designed around a dramatic, curved stairway—flanked by a bamboo garden—leading patrons to the second story dining area.

"It is a great honor to have been selected by Toshi to help him fulfill his expanded vision for Sushi Den," states Jeffrey Sheppard, AIA, design principal at Roth Sheppard Architects. "His original dream of creating one of the top sushi restaurants in the world, and our passionate commitment to raising the bar in modern restaurant design, makes this opportunity an exciting one for everyone involved. The process has begun and it's clear that this will be yet another remarkable culinary icon for the Kizaki brothers."

Sushi Den, located at 1487 South Pearl Street, originally opened in 1985 as the manifestation of the owners' dream of creating one of the top sushi restaurants in the world. As restaurateurs who believe in continually raising the bar, brothers Toshi and Yasu Kizaki have been honored to host numerous international dignitaries, including the emperor of Japan, several sitting and former prime ministers of Japan, and formal G7 Summit head-of-state dinners. "The king of Denver's sushi scene," according to Frommer's Travel Guides, serves sushi in addition to global and fusion cuisine, vegetarian, gluten-free and traditional dishes. The owners grow their own pesticide-free vegetables on their six-and-a-half acre farm in Brighton, Colorado. They are also building an energy-efficient greenhouse.