Interview with Isiah Salazar, owner
Q: How did you get involved in this business?
A: My family has owned the land that Central Bistro is on for years, and I’d always envisioned a high-quality neighborhood restaurant on Central Street. Plus, I lived in Spain for six months and my host family gave me hands-on experience cooking and sharing great food. I loved the spirit they brought to preparing, and especially sharing, spectacular meals, and that’s what I wanted to create.
Q: What distinguishes you from other businesses in your category?
A:We recently introduced the daily menu, which gives the kitchen the ability to play with seasonal items or tinker with a menu item before it makes it to the
dinner or lunch menu. We also have a whiskey program with more than 150 American-made bottles that we feature during our “Whiskey Wednesday” tastings. The distiller of the week discusses the history of their particular whiskey, the process and what to look for in the flavor profile of each style in the flight.
Q: What do you like best about your line of work?
A: I sincerely respect and enjoy being around the staff at Central Bistro, and I’m so happy we made it through our first year. To see how we evolve with this ever-changing neighborhood in lower Highland is part of the process I love. Also, it’s wonderful to run a business in the neighborhood where my family grew up.
Q: What is your business’ biggest challenge?
A: It’s always the unexpected things that throw me. For example, we had some surprise construction right in front of the restaurant on Central Street just as the weather got warm, and that was a disappointment since we have one of the best patios in Denver. But, it’s also going to make the area better for pedestrians in the long term.
Q: Something people might be surprised to learn about you or your business:
A: We recently launched a bottle club, in which customers purchase a bottle of whiskey or bourbon from our extensive selection and we create a custom, stamped metal band for it with your name and the open date on it, then store it in a private locker for you. Every time a guest comes in for dinner and accesses their bottle, they get 10 percent off the bill. Also, we have one of the best skyline-to-skyline views framed around Union Station, which looks beautiful at night and unforgettable with fireworks on holidays.
Business: Central Bistro & Bar
Address: 1691 Central St., Denver
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for lunch Wednesday-Friday, 4:30-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 4:30-10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for Sunday brunch, 4:30-9 p.m. for Sunday dinner