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Larry's Place

Seven 30 South aint' broken, but under new management.

Turns out that building is slated for demolition, so owner Pim Fitt had little choice but to move on. Fortunately, the new location (and now the only location) is up and running, serving lunch and dinner under a new name that's more clunky than the original (if that's possible). The new moniker: A Yummy Yummy Tasty Thai Food Restaurant. You gotta admit, that says it all.

Wolfgang Puck Express in Cherry Creek shut down last week, leaving a big, gaping hole that will soon be filled by another Paradise Bakery & Cafe. And the Grand Hyatt downtown has closed the Pinnacle Club to the public (again). This space perched on top of the Qwest tower has had a rough time of it lately. For decades it was the Petroleum Club, a private, members-only club. But after years of losing money (and members), it closed two years ago -- and everything went on the auction block.

In the summer of 2005, the space was resurrected as the Pinnacle Club, a restaurant open to the public for lunch. By last October, chef Kevin Villalovos was also offering dinner. But now, almost exactly two years after the original closure, the Pinnacle Club has gone dark. The space -- all 20,000 square feet of it -- is still available for private parties, though you'd need a lot of friends to fill that kind of room (which is more or less the problem that doomed the Pinnacle Club from the start).

With unexpected closings like that, I'd suggest that any underemployed line cook consider cooking school.

Not just any cooking school, mind you. I haven't gone soft or anything. But as much as the notion of the classroom-trained chef drives me nuts, I have to admit that the Culinary School of the Rockies has hit on a pretty cool idea for its chef-track program: a scholarship for line cooks. The $500 tuition scholarship is available to anyone currently working in a Colorado restaurant and brings the total cost of the program down to $11,050. Sure, it's expensive. But other professional programs will run you even more, and the CSR has created a special part-time schedule specifically for line cooks, which allows a student to hold down a full-time cooking gig while still attending classes.

Sound like a lot of work? It is. But just wait 'til you get your first real chef's gig, pal. Line cookin' and book learnin' will seem like summer camp.

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