By Jamie Swinnerton
By Mark Antonation
By Lori Midson
By Jonathan Shikes
By Amber Taufen
By Cafe Society
By Juliet Wittman
By Jonathan Shikes
Begin again: Finnegan's in the Adam's Mark Hotel, 1550 Court Place, is now closed, bringing the number of food-serving Irish pubs in the area down to two (that I know of)--Nallen's Irish Pub, at 1429 Market Street, and Clancy's Irish Pub, at 10117 West 37th Place in Wheat Ridge. When the Finnegan's space reopens, it will be called something else, but not AJ's, as was reported in the dailies last week. "We decided to go with something more Colorado-friendly," says Marcia Sky, Adam's Mark director of advertising and promotions. "AJ's is the name of our restaurant in St. Louis, but we're still deciding on the name for this one."
One thing that has been decided: Christian Schmidt is the hotel's new executive chef, which means they're serious this time around. Schmidt--who was part-owner and chef of Golden's Baci and executive chef for the group of eateries located at the Inverness Hotel and Golf Club, including the Swan--is one of the best chefs in town, with some of the same flair and talents displayed by former Denverite Peter St. John. The Inverness group says it has yet to replace Schmidt; Baci has closed. And although no one at Adam's Mark can say what kind of food Schmidt will serve there (if they even know), Sky notes that the new restaurant will serve lunch during the day, then turn into a nightclub in the evening. "We'll have the only dancing on the mall," she says.
Also temporarily closed is the fledgling Cafe Communique, at 99 West Ninth Avenue. The combination cybercafe/nightclub/art gallery/ restaurant possessed only a six-month temporary-occupation certificate from the city, which it was three months into without having made necessary building-code adjustments. "Since February is so quiet and slow, we thought it would be a good time to shut down and bring everything up to code," says office manager Joscelyn Gay. "We're talking about fixing walls, changing stairways, things like that. Once we get those done, we'll reopen." And they're hoping it won't take long. "We're asking people to check with us at the end of the month," Gay adds, "and we don't think it will be much longer after that."
Expect a longer wait for the lights to go back on at 240l Platte Street. The space, long occupied by Maxfield and Friends and then, briefly, by Dakota's at the end of last year, has gone dark again.