Non-profit Osage Cafe moves to bigger space and adds market

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The nonprofit restaurant Osage Cafe operated at 1099 Osage Street in the La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood for nine years, but now it’s moved to a larger space at 1035 Osage Street and added an affordable market.

According to the organization’s website. Participants in the program range in age from 14 to 24, and at the Osage Café, they receive training in the culinary industry. In addition to serving the community from the cafe, Osage is also one of the vendors that provides food for Meow Wolf’s HELLOFOOD.

Choice Market previously operated out of 1035 Osage Street, but when it chose not to renew its lease, DHA saw an opportunity to fill a need for the community. “[We] took a step back to see how we could provide both the coffee and the mercardo,” says Annie Hancock, Director of Community Relations for DHA Residents. By combining the two concepts, the DHA hopes to create a space in which the whole neighborhood will feel welcome.

“That’s community building,” adds Keo Frazier, director of communications and public affairs for the DHA. “It uses transit-oriented spaces that are not just something like a grocery store, but culturally relevant and have easy and affordable access.” The market will stock ingredients tailored to the cultural needs of the neighborhood with a focus on nutritional options as well as take-out meals.

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Osage Cafe interns learn catering and cooking skills to jump-start their careers.

Courtesy of Osage Cafe

The former Osage space will be used for the YEA training academy, wholesale department, food production, catering and other miscellaneous projects. However, when not in use, YEA hopes to rent the space to local food trucks, restaurants and vendors to use as a ghost kitchen; the goal is to be able to offer it at an affordable price so that members of the community can use it to achieve their ambitions.

To celebrate the move and expansion, Osage Cafe & Mercado will be hosting a grand opening celebration on July 19 from 2-4 p.m. During the event, local chefs who are also Denver Housing Authority residents will be on hand to prepare a special menu of dishes from their countries. Expect dishes like spring rolls, fried chicken, green chili, fried rice and couscous. There will also be free aguas frescas and raffles, as well as free snacks for all young people under eighteen.

The cafe’s regular menu includes American-style breakfast and lunch options like burritos, pastries, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, soups, salads, and specials.

Osage Cafe & Mercado is located at 1035 Osage Street. The cafe is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and the market is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (Saturdays will be added in the fall).

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