Work is underway on a fourth location of Maria Empanada, the award-winning and rapidly growing Denver empanada joint with a heart-warming story.
The new restaurant is under construction on the ground floor of the incoming Riverside office building at 1700 Platte St. That’s prime real estate on a block that now includes Denver Beer Co., Cerveceria Colorado, Brider, Dead Battery Club and two coworking spaces.
“We are very careful and strategic about our growth so we have to be extremely selective on where we locate our restaurants. When we understood what was happening on Platte Street we knew we had to be part of it.” Lorena Cantarovici, founder and chef of Maria Empanada, said in a press release. “We are excited to bring our brand to the vibrant neighborhoods of Platte Street, LoHi and Union Station — areas that are clamoring for something unique and easy to eat.”
Cantarovici started selling empanadas in Denver five years ago, when she moved to the states from Argentina with just $300 to her name. She soon had a restaurant at South Broadway and Louisiana and went on to open locations at the Belleview Promenade and Stanley Marketplace. In the first four years of business, Zagat called Maria Empanada “one of the 12 hottest new bakeries in America,” and Cantarovici was featured on a Food Network segment with Guy Fieri and was named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Colorado Small Business Person of the Year.
Last fall, Cantarovici and Maria Empanada got a $3.5 million injection of Series A funding from the Colorado Impact Fund — the announcement of which came with the initial announcement of a fourth location.