DENVER (CBS4) – A new King Soopers opened in downtown Denver on Wednesday and offered an oasis to what is called a “food desert.”

The store is located at 20th Avenue and Chestnut Street. It’s expected to solve one of downtown’s biggest problems.

Joe Cordova showed up three days early for the King Soopers doors to open. Like many who live downtown, getting groceries downtown is usually a hassle for Cordova.

“Getting in the car and driving to Safeway two miles downtown is a long way in traffic,” he said.

“I think this store is really focused on the downtown consumer who is time-deprived and they want access to fresh fast foods that are affordable, and I think King Soopers will provide that solution,” Kelli McGannon with King Soopers said.

It’s hard to comprehend that the neighborhood with some of the city’s highest rents and most affluent population has also been one of the city’s most under served. It’s considered a food dessert with nowhere nearby to get groceries — until now.

“It’s a really big improvement. It kind of makes that shift from a downtown business environment to really building our city center neighborhoods both within the heart of downtown Denver and in the neighboring communities,” Brea Olson with the Downtown Denver Partnership said.

The new King Soopers at 20th and Chestnut (credit: CBS)

The new King Soopers at 20th and Chestnut (credit: CBS)

Already one of the hottest, fastest growing neighborhoods in any city, downtown Denver has a vibrant restaurant scene, easy transportation, and entertainment. Olson says the grocery store turns downtown into a 24/7 neighborhood.

“These core amenities really are signaling that we have a strong residential base and that population will continue to grow over the next decade,” Olson said.

That means more construction and competition. Betting on success there, Whole Food announced they’d put in a new grocery store of their own just two blocks away.

The Downtown Denver Partnership says growth in the area could last for years. Recently downtown added a new elementary school and a middle school is also in the works.


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