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The Matador Opens Tomorrow in Highlands Square

Bar Design
Bar Design
Adam Larkey

The Matador Restaurant and Tequila Bar will arrive in Denver’s charming Highlands Square neighborhood tomorrow, November 22. Restaurateurs, craftsman and collectors, owners Nate Opper and Zak Melang personally restored the former Heidi’s Deli to bring a stylish and inviting addition to the neighborhood.

The Matador Entry Artwork
Adam Larkey

The restaurant showcases reclaimed barnwood sourced from Colorado, handcrafted inlaid tables, collected vintage lighting, ornate metalwork, an interior fire pit, and Mexican hacienda inspired décor. Opper and Melang worked alongside metal artists Anna Sher and Nick Rhinehart to design the intricate metalwork in their Seattle studio. The handmade pieces were welded together at the restaurant to create detailed railings, candle sconces, the signature exterior and back bar. Lighting accumulated from northwest antique markets and artifacts collected from frequent trips to Mexico create a rustic haven on the corner of 32nd Avenue and Lowell Boulevard.

The Matador’s menu of fresh Mexican cuisine offers locally sourced produce, house-made marinades, rubs and sauces, along with coffee, breads and desserts from Denver favorites Dazbog Coffee, Denver Bread Company and Little Man Ice Cream.

Executive chef Franck Forbeau helms the kitchen turning out signature items such as Carne Asada or Surf & Turf with habanero prawns, Braised Pork Sope with handmade masa and Cotija cheese, Pork Tacos al Pastor with slow roasted pork in spicy citrus salsa fresca, Stuffed Jalapenos with fresh goat cheese and Grilled Carne Asada Enchiladas Picante with a habanero chile sauce. Forbeau brings a wealth of experience to the Matador, honing his culinary skills at Balducci’s in Los Angeles, Gordon James in San Clemente, Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena and across the country as part of Bobby Flay’s Healthy Eating Challenge.

The restaurant’s elaborate bar offers a bird’s eye view of Lowell and showcase an impressive, personally curated collection of over 100 superior tequilas. Specialty margaritas, rare tequila flights and twists on the classics such as the Mexican Old Fashioned with Espolon Reposado, Patron Citronge, bitters, cherry and orange and a Cucumber - Jalapeno margarita with chipotle salt rim will definitely be favorites.

The Matador, located at 3496 West 32nd Avenue in Denver, seats 120 and open daily from 11 a.m. to close. Happy hour will be offered daily from 4 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. 303.561.2855 /