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Little Brazil will move from 10081 W 26th Ave to 7333 W 38th Ave, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033, according to Founder Kallen Marques.
Kallen Marques opened Little Brazil in 2011 after the 2010 housing-market crash forced her to relinquish her real estate business. However, the eatery — even the hospitality industry — wasn’t Marques’ immediate endeavor or ambition. In the year-long interim between the market’s downfall and the restaurant’s debut, she instead went back to school for an accounting degree hoping to re-enter the workforce with amassed credentials.
After several interviews and the subsequent realization that she no longer desired to work for someone else, Marques switched directions. From there, she began exploring new options for income, eventually finding a hole-in-the-wall Brazilian market where she spotted some potential. Inspired by her chef mother who died of cancer at the early age of 49, Marques began planning a concept that would both honor the matriarch and her home country.
Marques then took a trip to Brazil to study the cuisine and started perfecting her business scheme. It wasn’t long after her return that she approached the Brazilian market’s owner to propose a partnership. As it turned out, the owner was looking to sell the spot instead. Four weeks later, it belonged to Marques. In 2012, she moved the business to Wheat Ridge where, with an immense amount of struggle and hard work, it became what it is today — a Brazilian hotspot offering fresh, authentic cuisine. The current menu includes delicious dishes like shredded chicken croquettes, empanadas, black bean stew, mushroom stroganoff, fruit juices, and domestic & Brazilian beers.
Now, Marques’ Little Brazil is making the move to West 38. Here’s what the restauranteur told What Now Denver about the relocation:
WND: Why is Little Brazil moving?
KM: We were going to do an expansion before the pandemic, but for obvious reasons, we decided to hold off. We needed more space to do what we wanted to do, and we found the perfect location for our expansion.
We also wanted an outdoor sitting area which was not possible at our current location, so we decided to move. Remaining in Wheat Ridge was really important to us since we have been here for ten years and have many amazing customers that have been with us for that long, so when we found the new location, we jumped into the opportunity.
WND: When will the new location open?
KM: We are planning for late 2022 (November/December), but it is possible it will be in January/February 2023. The build-out takes time and we are dependent on the availability of materials and furnishings for our new space. Everything is taking a little longer due to supply chain problems. We are just excited to have a new home that will do justice to what we want to provide to our customers.
WND: What are your hopes for the new location?
KM: We want to continue to provide delicious and authentic Brazilian food, and we are excited to launch our breakfast and weekend brunch menu. We hope people continue to feel that they are visiting a little corner of Brazil, but in Colorado.
The new design will feature Brazilian themes, and we will have a full bar highlighting Brazilian cocktails, focused on our traditional cachaça (Brazilian rum made out of cane sugar), so, of course, a variety of “caipirinhas” will be available. We really hope people will spend some of their happy hours with us, and we hope to bring some live Brazilian music on the weekends. Overall, we just want to provide a better space and environment to our customers.
WND: Do you have plans to expand/open more stores in the future?
KM: For now, we will focus on this new space. But you never know!
WND: What other changes will Little Brazil incur at this new location?
KM: We will continue to serve our staples, but there will be many changes/additions. We will have a new breakfast and weekend brunch menu, with a coffee bar, as well as a limited smoothie bar with açaí berries, and other exotic fruits from Brazil. We are also expanding our appetizers to more of a sharable experience, and our main menu will feature new dishes and desserts from Brazil.
Our goal is to bring a few more authentic Brazilian flavors to this new location, so people can experience our vast Brazilian cuisine. Also, we will continue to serve many gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options as we do now.
For the market portion of our business, we will continue to import products from Brazil, and we will expand our frozen Little Brazil packaged empanadas so customers can take them home and share them with their friends and family.