Tag Archives: Frank Sinatra

The Edgewater Inn: Last of the Continuously-Operated/Owned by the Same Family Italian Restaurants in The (Near What Used to be Denver’s Little Italy) Hood

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[Some links have been removed or changed since The Edgewater’s website was changed – 2014]
Update 2014 – The Edge is now serving excellent, Sweet Potato Fries.

The Edgewater Inn
5302 W 25th Ave
Edgewater, CO 80214
(303) 237-3524

The Edgewater Inn
The Edgewater Inn

Every so often I have a need to drive across town to the soothing neighborhood of Edgewater across from *Sloan’s Lake. The lake was dredged some time back, and surrounded by (cleaned-up) verdant Sloan’s Lake Park, it’s a beautiful spot. The view across the lake, from Sheridan to the east, is one of the best views of Denver’s skyline. Most nights the reflections of downtown building lights paint the water – even though the lake is miles from downtown Denver. I know there’s an explanation for that phenomenon, something about bending light waves. Whatever the science, she’s drop-dead gorgeous.

Sloans's Lake at Edgewater, photo by radare
Sloans's Lake at Edgewater, photo by radare

When one first enters the City of Edgewater, the instant vibe is Mayberryesque, however, it’s changing fast.

At the extreme north-west end of the lake, at 25th Ave & Sheridan Boulevard, through the overhead sign (Edgewater) declaring its boundary, down a block and on the left, you’ll find a fairly plain building with green awnings and a HOWDY PAISANO sign on the east wall. This is The Edgewater Inn.

[Update 2014 – The Edgewater’s website has been changed, the following paragraph is from the old website. A link to the new website follows.]
“The Edgewater Inn is a small pizza tavern in the heart of Edgewater, and for many years been one of the highlights of the town. The Inn, most famous for its pizzas and family atmosphere, has graced the neighborhood for over fifty years. The owners, Ben and Josephine DiPietro started the business back in 1953. The Inn, now located on the southwest corner of 25th Avenue and Ames was initially located at the building due west of it’s present address. In 1957, the building next door went up for sale. The buildings previous occupant, the post office, moved into a newer quarters. Ben and Josephine purchased the lease and began their work. They realized they wanted to turn their 3.2 bar into a regular bar. To accomplish this task, many hours of hard work were required. Ben and Josephine had to petition everyone in the neighborhood, meaning they had to go to every household to ask the residents if they were or were no[sic] in favor of a bar going into the community. This amounted to a total of 96 blocks, this was no easy task. They did however succeed in getting enough signatures and community support to acquire a license.”

The Edge’s Official NEW Website

Interview with Brandon Bucci, general manager [A paragraph (here) was removed, it was part of the old website.]

The main dining area of The Edgewater Inn
The main dining area of The Edgewater Inn

Close, but never quite in the heart of Denver’s Little Italy, The Edgewater was a bit too far west. The Bonnie Brae Tavern (DU area), Romano’s in Littleton and several others around Denver are good restaurants, just not in the epicenter of Denver’s Little Italy, which pretty much hugged the area bounded by 32nd Avenue to 46th Avenue and Broadway to Zuni streets. There were a half-dozen-plus red-sauce places within a mere 2-mile stretch along 38th Avenue, and down connecting side streets of the Little Italy area, many within just a few blocks of each other. Longo’s Subway Tavern (shuttered in 2012,) Gaetano’s (new corporate owner) and Carl’s Pizza (new owners) were on 38th Avenue. R. Carbone’s Pizza (now Lechuga’s – For Sale in 2014) and The Alpine Inn (John “Skip” LaGuardia’s tavern – long closed) shared Tejon Street with Gaetano’s. Patsy’s Inn is still on 35th and Navajo (family-member of the founder is the current owner, however, there have been non-family owners.) Little Pepina’s was at 34th and Osage St (the building stands – soon to be an Asian restaurant,) Pagliacci’s was at 33rd and Osage (raised last year.) Three Sons was located at 44th and Federal ( 3-sons moved to Arvada,) Ernie’s Pizza Bar was at 44th and Elliot (new corporate owners,) and Carbone’s Sausage Market and Deli (closed) was catty-corner to the Subway, across 38th. I’m getting dizzytized.

Perhaps by default, The Edgewater has worked it’s way up the list and is the last of it’s kind left standing. To the folks from the neighborhood, The Edge is an institution. The Edgewater Inn, The Subway Tavern and The Bonnie Brae Tavern were the three premiere Denver pizza joints for years – before NY Pizza came to town. In fact, Longo’s Subway Tavern boasted about installing the first pizza oven in Denver. Ernie’s Pizza Bar was in a quieter neighborhood.

I’ve been going to The Edgewater for years – mostly for an 18 oz.? goblet of beer. The original owner Ben DiPietro usually had a long cigar protruding from the corner of his mouth.

The late Ben Dipietro, sans cigar
The late Ben Dipietro, sans cigar

Recently, I had a decent house salad. The spaghetti is acceptable (other pastas on the menu,) a bargain for about $7.50 including salad and bread. The pizza and calzones (canolis) are unmistakably Colorado style – sort of a hard, crunchy crust. The calzone I had was different. I’m a NY Pizza fan, so… Also on the menu: appetizers, including fried-ravioli, wings and more, salads, and classic meatball and sausage sandwiches served with marinara.

OK, the food is Edgewater/Denver style. It’s not California cuisine or NY fine-dining, so get over it – this is bar food.  The Edgewater is still a good watering hole, reminiscent of a coastal bar. Well, it is sort of on the coast, the coast of Sloan’s Lake. There seems to be a new “feel” to the restaurant. Next time I’ll order something else to see if the food has been elevated.

In naming more of the good qualities of this restaurant, one would have to mention the cleanliness, the clever U-shaped bar, the copper Moscow Mule mugs hanging like relics from bar racks (The Edge offers premium Vodka Mules), and gracious, friendly and attractive waitresses. These women have perfected the art of public relations.

The restaurant/bar is one, in other words the restaurant tables surround the perimeter of the U-shaped bar. The exception being the new covered patio addition, which is a bit different. The main dining/bar area has a number of very cozy booths nestled up against quality, rich woods. The only thing I’d change is the worn, grey veneer of the lower bar. Wood matching the window trim would complete the interior.

From the Neighborhood Gazette
“As the reputation of the Edgewater Inn grew, it was rumored that high ranking Denver police officials would usher celebrities like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra into the Inn after hours. Frank was said to have proclaimed that the Edgewater Inn had the best pizza in Denver.” Read more…

I’m all for supporting this Edgewater/Denver institution.

Happy Hour specials! Customers can park across the street in The Edgewater’s lot.

*Doing research years ago I ran into some documents suggesting that the lake and park were simply called Sloan Lake and Sloan Lake Park, rather than Sloan’s.

The Edgewater Inn is a TrueItalianTable recomended authentic Italian restaurant.

I’m In Love With This SONG Video

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I’m in love with this video, and the song it’s wrapped around. The song is “I’VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN” by Cole PorterNelson Riddle’s arrangement and sung by, The Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra – the Patron Saint of Italianesque Americana.

It’s the first time I’ve expierienced this cut with a video. There’s a smoke’n horn section at the bridge? And a photo of a bridge at the bridge. Sinatra’s versions of this song are pure (black) magic. The contrast of volume levels help make this song one of the best ever recorded. The long, loud 3/4 of the way in crescendo / trombone solo is ridiculous.

from Richard Williams -The Guardian,
Wednesday 4 February 2004 02.57 GMT

“Nowadays the idea of a trombone solo igniting a great pop record might seem quaint. But there was nothing quaint about the solo halfway through Frank Sinatra’s classic version of I’ve Got You Under My Skin, with which Milt Bernhart, who [] died of heart failure aged 77, created something as electrifying in its time as anything devised by Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton in a later generation.
Recorded on January 12 1956, during one of five sessions that produced the album Songs For Swingin’ Lovers, I Got You Under My Skin is one of Sinatra’s finest performances. Nelson Riddle’s arrangement propels Cole Porter’s song at an easy, finger-snapping medium tempo, introduced by the unorthodox combination of a bass clarinet riff with celeste punctuation.”

“Sinatra, a month past his 40th birthday and at the height of his powers, delivers the first verse with a devil-may-care sexiness. For the instrumental interlude, Riddle creates a 12-bar ramp by juxtaposing syncopated trombone figures with sustained high notes in the violins, building a crescendo whose tension is thrillingly released by the sudden blaze of trumpets which launches Bernhart’s solo. In a mere eight bars, his rampaging brassiness lifts the song to a new level of intensity, providing a counterpoint of Dionysian ecstasy to the singer’s Apollonian self- control.”

The video, uploaded to YouTube by utubeLyrics102, is pretty much just a slideshow of romantic photographs of lovers, from very young to very old. Constant slow panning of the photographs creates a sense of drama and cinematic movement. 50s chicks in tight American jeans holding on to their men. Old folks watching boats (that are) in their slips. Black and White photographs of lovers in that first embrace. The exact moment that you fell in love. Is there anything better. And that iconic Kiss photo, snapped in Times Square just after WW ll ended. Pure, beautiful Americana! Lover’s embracing under bridges and on sidewalks. This is a well-crafted video that is completely respectful to Frank Sinatra’s vocal rendition of the song. I’ll do some research later on – about who put this video together. It’s a damn good job. He/she has been in love.

The music is empowered by Sinatra’s presence. It was recorded at a time when the US was as sweet as Apple Pie. Frank Sinatra was living beyond the American Dream, mega-large. All that excitement, success, high-life-living and magic is captured in the recordings.

Visit the Sinatra’s Family Website

Visit the main pages of LasVegasBuffeClub.com