Rebuild at last over – Metropolis opens doors

       The Metropolis, a full-service restaurant, opened in July at 1201 W. Colorado Ave. The one-time Checker’s Auto store building at 1201 W.
Colorado Ave. received a major facelift, inside and out,
over the past year during a project to create the Metropolis
restaurant... The key figures in the business (from left)
co-owners Jeff Chevalier and Luis Ortiz and head cook Blair
Hall. Behind them can be seen the dance floor, a table from
the Broadmoor and the solid-mahogany bar.
Westside Pioneer photo
       Co-owned by Jeff Chevalier and Luis Ortiz, the business offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and also has a liquor license. A schedule for live music (most likely a pianist during dinner and a three-piece group playing '40s music later on) is being developed, Chevalier said.
       The opening came more than a year after City Planning called a neighborhood meeting to discuss Metropolis' plans. At the time, there was a concern - despite ownership promises to be sensitive to the nearby residential area - that the business would be more of a bar than a restaurant. But in the months that followed, the ownership invested $329,000 in the 34-year-old former Checkers Auto building, including putting in a costly kitchen hood to make the preparation of full meals possible.
       The overall work and cost far exceeded initial expectations, said Chevalier, a former restaurant owner who also owns the laundromat next door. Among the Regional Building requirements were the need for five furnaces (there had been two), additional electrical outlets and handicapped bathrooms - all to meet the need of changing the building to a food-serve establishment. People Chevalier knew asked him about the time it was taking, but “nobody thought it was taking more time than me,” he said.
       Now that it's open, “I'm proud of it,” he said, adding that “business has been good so far.”
       The overall style is intended as art deco. He pointed out the subdued rope lighting on the rear deck (to avoid adverse impacts on the residential neighborhood across the alley), the “pop-out” effects on the exterior walls (to give some dimension to the old, box-shaped building) and the brand-new interior (including a dance floor and a solid-mahogany bartop from the former Houlihan's club).
       Other interior touches include rugs, tables, chairs, silverware and glasses formerly used at the Broadmoor Hotel.
       “Thank God the Broadmoor remodeled,” Chevalier grinned.
       The Metropolis interior seats about 110, with another 40-some on the rear patio and 10 chairs at the bar. The food sales so far have represented about 85 percent of the income, compared with 15 percent for alcohol, he said.
       Ortiz, as well as the head cook, Blair Hall, are long-time friends of Chevalier. “I quit a job in Cripple Creek to work here,” Hall revealed. He invited people to try his food, much of which he makes from scratch.
       Ortiz, originally from Texas, had most recently been in Milwaukee, Wisc.
       Improvements are continuing on the site. Plans include adding wireless internet and TVs (within a week or so), installing a wrought-iron fence to go around the parking lot and creating a drink to be called “Kryptonite” (a nod to the business name, derived from the comic-book city where Superman and Lois Lane live).
       The business is open daily. The phone is 227-9888.

Westside Pioneer article