Danny Newman usually buys a property and leaves it alone. This time he’s starting something new.
The 42-year-old tech entrepreneur is known for preserving unique buildings and purchasing beloved Denver businesses, like My Brother’s Bar and the 150-year-old Mercury Cafe.
But at 4200 W. Colfax Ave., in a former tire store, he’s launching a new concept: Full Tank Food Park.
Newman — who also owns the top of downtown’s clock tower — said the Colfax business, which opens next week, is a mix of a traditional neighborhood cafe and a food truck park. The cafe will operate in the 1,200-square-foot building, while food trucks will park outside the 0.22-acre lot.
Newman purchased the site in 2018 for $755,000, but it has sat untouched since. He had originally planned to open the “Colfax Country Club” – not to be confused with the public golf course in Iowa – which would feature ping pong, mini golf, a swimming pool and “the smallest Denver motel,” with only one room.
This plan was only approved in 2020, just as the lockdowns began, so it was put on the back burner.
“It’s been all over the place,” Newman said. “We kind of took a break on the Colfax Country Club, and when we came back and wanted to strengthen that, we got updated bids and quotes and the construction prices went up.”
Instead, Newman said he turned to something that would have a similar vibe, but wouldn’t require a full build-out.
“I still hope to have elements of that, but from a cost and bandwidth standpoint, we’ve had to scale that back,” Newman said. “But the reminder a little bit is still pretty crazy, so it will be fun.”
Full Tank, which Lily Walters will direct, will have about six rotating food trucks. Newman said his long-term goal is to create a semi-permanent location for Denver food trucks, like what you find in Portland or Austin, Texas.
“I think what’s happened in the independent food truck scene in Denver has been great, but we’re still behind what these other cities are doing,” Newman said.
He said the cafe and food trucks are just the first phase of the concept. He plans to add games like table tennis, build an outdoor space similar to Improper City in RiNo and is working on obtaining a liquor license. And he still hasn’t given up on the idea of a motel.
“We just want a fun, quirky space that keeps the weird vibe of Colfax while still being really comfortable,” he said.
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