Juan Coronado was a rising star in the Denver restaurant scene. After honing his skills in the kitchen of the Italian institution Panzano, he teamed with renowned chef Troy Guard at Los Chingones, which quickly became a Mile High hotspot.

Then he packed up his knives and moved to Cheyenne.

"Cheyenne is ready for what we are trying to do," the new executive chef at The Metropolitan Downtown said. "It has the opportunity to have its own food revolution."

Coronado has seen it before. When the Texas native arrived to study Food Science at Johnson and Wales University, Denver's culinary claims to fame were brewpub bison burgers, green chili, and Rocky Mountain Oysters. In recent years, the Mile High City's restaurant scene has exploded and is now considered among the best in the country. Coronado thinks that can happen here, on a smaller scale.

"The sense of community in Cheyenne is one of the things that brought me here, I have met so many great people, supporters of what we do, partners and visionaries of what Downtown Cheyenne could be one decade from now," he said.

One of those visionaries is Sam Galeotos, owner of the OMI Group and former President of Cheyenne's Downtown Development Authority, who recruited Coronado to run the kitchen at his flagship restaurant, The Metropolitan Downtown.

"We want to expand the hospitality and entertainment options in Cheyenne’s downtown core and create a venue that is attractive to people with varied interests,” Geleotos said in a press release.

Coronado's "New American" menu will feature creative takes on classic dishes along with seasonal offerings, locally sourced ingredients and house specialties like the "Met Filet".

"The kitchen will focus not only on flavor, but presentation, and every dish will be curated with the utmost care," Coronado promises.

The Metropolitan Downtown and the adjacent event space The Gallery at The Met are slated to open this spring on the northeast corner of 17th Street and Carey Avenue.