Regulars and residents of Boulder’s Steel Yards neighborhood have been eagerly watching the developments in the restaurant space next-door to fave coffee house Joe’s Espresso. The space last housed Kerrigan’s, a sort of local Bennigan’s sort of place: Celtic knotwork on the tables, mostly American food on the menu. Before that it was LuLu’s, a soul food establishment that reopened briefly on the Hill before succumbing once more, I suppose, to local disinterest in stewed greens and damn fine catfish. Kerrigan’s shut down in… 2006? Early 2007? …leaving the restaurant space empty since. A lock box showed up on the door, and the windows got all papered over.
Then, some months ago, obvious signs of interior renovation in action. The sounds of saws and hammers filtered through the wall to disturb coffee-sipping patrons next door.
A sign went up on the 30th Street side of the building: ELEPHANT HUT THAI CUISINE. In the window, an LED sign: CLOSED, it said. For now.
Soon afterwards, a liquor license hearing notification appeared in the window. The hearing date came and went. The notice came down. Around the east side, on the entrance facing the parking lot, hours had been posted: Lunch 11-3, Dinner 5-9 Mon-Thu and 5-10 Fri/Sat. Closed Sunday.
Wi-fi obsessed patrons at Joe’s – OK, well, that would be me – noticed a new WPA2-encrypted network in the area. So there I am, still blinking at the word “ElephantHut” in my Wireless Networks dialogue box, when a man walks into the cafe and playfully demands of the barista, “Where’s my pad thai? When do I get my pad thai, dangit?” Dude, I sympathize. I’m not even a fan of Thai food, and I want to know when I can get my pad thai. These incremental changes are like watching a slow-reveal movie hype campaign. They’re like opening the little doors on an Advent calendar. Dude.
This past weekend revealed a new development. My husband and I are walking home from the 29th Street Mall, and we notice something green up ahead on the sidewalk. We get closer and discover these plastic “hedge” blocks set out in a rectangle, surrounding an area of chairs and tables.
That was Sunday; today the furniture are gone, but the “hedge” blocks are still there, some of them tumbled over. I’m figuring that one doesn’t set up outdoor furnishings that aren’t chained up or nailed down without having prompt follow-up intentions.
The indoors entrance door, the one near the restrooms, is no longer papered over, so you can see the interior decor. It’s pretty, in a gaudy bamboo-orchid-and-altar-figures sort of way. It makes for an interesting effect in combination with the Steel Yards warehouse-with-exposed-ducts-and-girders look.
Sir, I believe our pad thai is imminent. Stay tuned for further developments