Khagendra “KG” Gurung is no stranger to the restaurant industry. Between all of his local family members, they own nine restaurants in Colorado — an impressive number given the competitive nature of the industry here. That’s why opening a restaurant amid a global pandemic didn’t cause too much stress for Gurung and at the beginning of October, he opened Mazevo — a healthy Mediterranean restaurant on Tennyson Street.
Gurung acquired the building on Tennyson Street earlier this year and decided on Mediterranean cuisine after doing market research in the neighborhood. “We want people to have a healthy option down here,” said Gurung. His other restaurants include Himchuli in the Highland neighborhood and Cuisine of the Himalayas in Evergreen — both Indian and Nepali cuisine. Gurung’s goal with Mazevo is to fill a need for healthy food as well as bring a Mediterranean option to the area that isn’t fast-casual like Vital Root or Garbanzo.
In Greek, the word “mazevo” means “to gather” which perfectly describes Gurung’s goal with the restaurant. “We want people to come in and spend their time here,” he said. Gurung came up with the idea for the concept during the pandemic when he saw the lack of human connection that accompanied stay-at-home orders and lockdowns. Six months later he opened Mazevo with COVID-19 restrictions in mind.
The restaurant is following all protocols for cleanliness and reduced capacity as well as bringing the outdoors inside with the decor. The large windows up front that open up to the street are reminiscent of a European restaurant and the blue and white color scheme reminds you of classic Greek architecture and design. There is also a large pergola inside the front room along with a wall of plants and a fireplace for ambiance. “It’s Colorado, we needed to have a fireplace,” said General Manager Ashish Bhandari, “We want people to feel cozy and comfortable.”
The menu at Mazevo can be described as simple, healthy and affordable. The Mazevo platter ($13) is a great appetizer to start with that includes the Mediterranean classics of hummus, baba ganoush, falafel, marinated olives, tabbouleh and is served with warm pita. The kofta kebab ($15) is perfectly seasoned ground lamb served with grilled vegetables, Israeli couscous, tzatziki sauce and green tahini spread. Another notable entree is the chicken shawarma ($14) that’s been marinated in a harissa-yogurt sauce served with garlic aioli and fresh hummus. Gurung and the team at Mazevo are currently testing out weekly food and beverage specials to get feedback from guests and keep the menu diverse.
The next time you’re looking for a European dining experience that won’t break the bank, stop by Mazevo for a glass of wine and a warm, healthy meal. You may not be able to travel to Southern Europe, your palate still can.
Mazevo is located at 3961 Tennyson St, Denver. Open daily for lunch 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and for dinner Monday – Saturday 4:30 – 9:30 p.m. and Sunday 4:30 – 9 p.m.
All photography by Amanda Piela.