By Shawn Chitnis
DENVER (CBS4) – With only a day to go before the first-ever Grandoozy music festival in Denver’s Overland Park neighborhood, restaurants are preparing to cater food for one of the largest crowds they’ve ever served in the city.
“We wanted to get involved with Grandoozy because there are so many great, other restaurants,” said Biju Thomas, owner of Biju’s Little Curry Shop. “To really showcase really cool stuff about what Denver is doing to a greater audience.”
Thomas has established his business with two locations in Denver serving fast causal Indian food with bowls featuring different curry selections. But he says there is an opportunity to reach more people who haven’t enjoyed some popular dining options in town.
He helped to organize Devour Denver, the food experience inside the music festival that will feature some well known establishments from the local culinary scene.
“You have 30 plus restaurants and trucks involved and they’re the best of the best that Colorado has,” he said.
Thomas has been planning for weeks, he was already preparing 4,000 samosas on Wednesday for service over the weekend. He’s using the classic Indian pastry stuffed with potatoes and other vegetables as the snack size dish he will sell out of his food trailer at Grandoozy.
“For those people who love bacon, we have a lovely spicy, Vindaloo bacon that we sprinkle all over it,” he said.
In addition to having two locations for guests to dine in, he has a catering business that keeps him busy throughout the year. But he says the Little Curry Shop and other restaurants have not taken on a challenge like Grandoozy anywhere in the Denver metro area.
“I think it’s good for Denver to see what else is out there,” said Thomas. “I think it’s going to be great not only for the restaurants but for the community at large, who don’t know a lot of these restaurants exist.”
The festival has a diverse music lineup that has attracted interest in the state as well as some planning to travel to Colorado. But while the recording artists will be the main draw, Thomas says the food will hold its own, given the lineup of restaurants participating at Grandoozy.
“For anybody who’s a food nut, loves anything to do with food, you want to get the best of the best in one place together, and it just so happens to have Stevie Wonder and Florence and the Machine.”
The festival will be a test for all partners involved, not only will their be food vendors but also breweries and distilleries. Outdoor and recreational sport businesses will also be included on site. Denver does not have anything like this event to compare to but Thomas says he is already feeling confident for the weekend.
“Two days out, we’re looking great,” he said. “We’re ready to blow it up over there, it’s going to be awesome.”