The former OSS, or Ogden Street South sports bar in Wash Park, is dropping the last S and adding an O.
Denver restaurateur Juan Padro plans to open a second Mister Oso location next year in the former dive bar space at 103 S. Ogden St.
“We want to attempt to roll out this brand nationally,” Padro said. “Mister Oso is a really special brand, and the most successful concept we’ve ever done. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like tacos.”
Ogden Street South Sports Bar had operated for 47 years before its closure in late March. The Wash Park watering hole had a college feel and was known for wild karaoke weekends and cheap drinks.
Mister Oso, a Latin American restaurant that serves smoked meat plates with warm tortillas, opened in RiNo at 3163 Larimer St. in 2019. Padro said business has been booming at that location, adding annual sales are about $2,000 a square foot. Property records show the building is 1,895 square feet.
Padro, founder of Culinary Creative hospitality group, also owns four Tap & Burger locations, Senor Bear, and Bar Dough, among other restaurants in Denver. He bought the lease for the 3,755-square-foot building in Wash Park shortly after it went up for sale at the end of March.
Mark Valente with Sanborn and Company brokered the transition, in which Padro bought the business from former owner Tim Fry. The deal didn’t include the bar’s building, which has been owned by John D. Balafas and George Andrianakos since 1987.
Padro told BusinessDen he plans to gut the building and complete an estimated $1.8 million renovation on the interior, including a new kitchen and expanded patio. But the permit process with the city has been slower than anticipated. He’s aiming for a March opening.
“That place was an institution. So, in a way, the additional time has been helpful to heal that wound,” Padro said.
Along with smoked meat taco platters, Mister Oso’s menu includes ceviche, salads and a variety of cocktails, such as agua frescas, margaritas and Palomas.
“We think that the Wash Park neighborhood seems to be attracted to that style of restaurant,” Padro said. “Uncle does really well over there. And that neighborhood knows food. It’s not pretentious, but they’re intellectually curious, care about where their food comes from and want a good environment. You have to go down to Broadway mostly to get that, besides that strip with Carmine’s.”
In addition to a new Mister Oso, Culinary Creative recently opened an Ash’Kara location on Boulder’s Pearl Street and a new cocktail bar in Cherry Creek called Forget Me Not. At the start of the year, Padro and Matt Joblon of BMC Investments also each acquired an equal stake of 40 percent in Aviano Coffee, which has two locations in Cherry Creek.
Next month, the restaurant group will open A5 within its former Morin space at 1600 15th St. in Union Station. Culinary Creative originally opened Morin, a contemporary French restaurant, in 2018, but closed it permanently in March 2020 as a result of the pandemic.
A5, named after the Japanese beef grading system’s highest quality, will be a steakhouse with a focus on Wagyu, grass-fed and prime beef. There will also be oysters and other seafood. Chefs Max MacKissock, Morin’s former head chef and Culinary Creative partner, and Ben Wolven, who ran the oyster program at Morin, will once again be running the kitchen.
“This is how I like to eat beef,” Padro said. “I’m not a give-me-a-porterhouse-at-a-steakhouse type of guy. If I want to put red meat in my system, I want it to be the best.”