Two Hands, an Australian-themed cafe, is opening on Tennyson Street

All hands are on deck to bring a fire-damaged building in northwest Denver’s popular Tennyson Street retail district back to life.

RUE, a Dallas real estate company known for its work with specialty retailers, purchased the property at 3985 Tennyson St. last November for $2.5 million, according to property records. The location had hosted Green Door Furniture, a thrift store, until a fire struck in 2016, leaving it boarded up and vacant for the last six years.

Now the firm has announced that it has signed on three tenants for the space, which it is calling The Lantern. They are an outlet of the Sweetgreen salad chain, the Miami-based The Salty Donut and New York’s Two Hands, a restaurant and cafe, according to RUE’s founder Jeremy Zidell.

Two Hands, which originally opened in New York in 2014 and now has six locations around the country, is an Australian-inspired coffee shop and restaurant focused on fresh ingredients from local farmers and ranchers. This will be its first Colorado location.

“We’re excited to bring something new to the city, but also to be able to become a part of the new city,” said Two Hands’ chief operating officer Lucy Thom. “We want to get to know the local vendors, farmers and ranchers, like we have at our other locations.”

Owner Henry Roberts is an Australian native and after moving to New York in 2013, he wanted to create a place that felt like home. Thom is also an Australian native and worked her way up from a server in 2017 to COO. The restaurant menu, like Australian cuisine, has a mix of influences from around the world. There’s miso mushroom hotpot, a turmeric chickpea dahl and lamb barbacoa.

And in the mornings, guests will be able to stop by for a freshly roasted cup of joe. The restaurant roasts its own blends with an Australian roaster based in New York.

“We’ve really become an Australian hub for expats like me or anyone who has traveled there and just wants a taste of it again,” Thom said.

Two Hands plans to open the nearly 100-seat space on the ground floor of The Lantern in the fall of 2023.

Zidell said the interior of The Lantern is being remodeled while preserving as much of the facade as possible, including the distinctive sign that once advertised the Grimsley Furniture Co.

Sweetgreen already has two locations in the Denver area with another planned, while this will be the first Colorado outlet of The Salty Donut, which has eight locations around the U.S.

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