New Café Costa Renovation Improves Experience for Zoo Guests and Animals

March 27, 2024 – Lakewood, CO —Encore Electric Service & Special Projects teammates recently worked alongside reptiles and mammals, predators and prey to bring a new café to the tropics – of Denver Zoo. The renovation of Café Costa, previously known as Lighthouse Pizza, brings an expanded menu, seating, and upgraded electrical to power both the café and the sea lion habitat.

Cafe renovations improve this corner of the Zoo for visitors and inhabitants alike. For guests, the renovated space has a new heated, covered patio giving guests the chance to enjoy their snack with a clear view of the sea lions year-round. Encore Electric teammates took advantage of this unique project setting to enjoy their surroundings, often catching a sea lion show from their break area during their lunch.

Beyond the aesthetic changes made in the renovation, Encore Electric gave the cafe a complete electrical upgrade with new panels, switch gear, and transformers. Teammates had to get creative to implement electrical equipment that would not only power the cafe and exhibit, but also fit the constraints of available supply that would fit within the confined space of the electrical room.

These upgrades bring a renewed power source to the sea lion exhibit, giving the exhibit the ability to continue to grow in size and capability while benefitting the sea lions inside for years to come.

“There have been some challenging aspects of this project that really required the team to come together,” said Project Manager Lane Morgese. “Part of the scope is to swap all of the gear in a small electric room on the back of the café, which feeds many other parts of the Zoo. Along with several lead time issues that arose, the small footprint led us to have to find just the right equipment and layout to meet clearance requirements. Denver Zoo, design team, and fellow contractors all came together to find a solution that worked for everyone. I really appreciate the team’s efforts on this project.”

Safety of the animals and people on this busy Zoo project site took precedence through planning and construction of this project. Encore Electric teammates worked closely with project partners and the Zoo to ensure construction would not interrupt Zoo functions, working in an enclosed work zone with private entrances to move in and out of the Zoo without disruption. By prioritizing safety, the team not only created a secure working environment but also contributed to the overall well-being and tranquility of the Zoo’s inhabitants, fostering coexistence between construction progress and the Zoo’s commitment to the welfare of its animal residents.

The Café Costa is now open and ready to serve Zoo visitors. Renovation projects such as this not only continue to keep Denver Zoo a top destination for Denver locals and tourists alike but power the Zoo’s ability to enhance the lives of the animals that reside there.


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