Berkeley restaurants

Maria Empanada opens location on Pearl Street in Boulder

Maria Empanada expands outside of Denver for the first time.

The local Argentinian restaurant plans to open a fifth location on Boulder’s Pearl Street in April.

“We are spreading our wings,” founder Lorena Cantarovici told BusinessDen. “We test our process, make sure everything is working well, including the brand, and get more visibility in a new city.”

Cantarovici signed a five-year lease in December for the 1,641 square foot space at 2609 Pearl St. on Boulder’s University Hill. It previously housed the popular Salvaggio’s Italian Deli, which opened in 1994 and closed last year.

Axio real estate broker Brian Frank represented Maria Empanada in the transaction.

“If you look at the dynamics of the city of Boulder, it’s like a microcosm of who we are: perfect food for people on the go,” said Maria Empanada Marketing Director Victor Arango. “This applies to all companies and businesses that live and work around Boulder, and for students it’s a no-brainer. It’s a food they can eat on the go, study with, freeze, and eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and there are tons of families out there who can get the perfect meal on the go.

Cantarovici emigrated from Buenos Aires to the United States in 2009 with just $300 in his pocket and started making empanadas in his home kitchen the following year. She opened her first restaurant at 1298 S. Broadway in Platt Park in 2011. This location is still operational, as are the restaurants at 1700 Platte St. in LoHi and Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace.

In addition to the Boulder location, Cantarovici is preparing to open a new restaurant in Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood in April. This space is taking a little longer to build, as it used to be a yoga studio, she said.

Last year, the chain closed its Denver Tech Center location due to a traffic slowdown and its Broadway Market stall. The food hall has still not reopened after the pandemic stopped.

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