Good food, good concept, good execution. Screw up one of those three elements and you become a joke. A successful joke, sometimes — think McDonald's (no longer Chipotle's owner, by the way), with its good concept, good (if machine-like) execution and awful ingredients — but a joke nonetheless. Or, sadly, Beaucoup Burrito.

Leftovers: It looks like the economy is finally catching up with local restaurants. We've definitely lost Pizzeria Mundo (1312 17th Street), a noble, two-time attempt to bring the humble neighborhood pizzeria into the modern fusion world by offering a huge board of international pizzas (not unlike the list of international burritos being done at Beaucoup). John Pool had the initial, grandiose vision; last spring, his brother, Patrick, took over, instituting a much more restrained menu of more standard pizzas, sandwiches, salads and cheap beer. The return to sanity wasn't enough to save the place, though, and its complete invisibility due to a massive construction project didn't help; Mundo went down owing over $11,000 in back rent.

And you've got only a few more weeks to eat at Buenos Aires Grill (2191 Arapahoe Street); last week, the Carrera family sent out a note that the restaurant will be closed as of February 16. All things considered, I'm surprised it's lasted as long as it has. Not that the food isn't good (Buenos Aires Grill has the best blood sausage in town, and a menu that's like dying and going to meat heaven), and not that it isn't beautiful (golden and glossy inside, like the Titanic in permanent dry-dock, and with a lovely, tree-shaded garden patio) — but it rarely appeared to be doing enough trade to fill its main dining room, let alone the big overflow/banquet room downstairs. Fortunately, the family promises that Buenos Aires Pizzeria (1319 22nd Street) will stay open, offering the same kind of cross-border international melting-pot concept that couldn't save Mundo and is being done so poorly at Beaucoup. The difference? Buenos Aires Pizzeria actually does it well.

Location Info


Chipotle Mexican Grill

1644 E. Evans Ave.
Denver, CO 80210

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: South Denver

We also recently lost Maxwell's, at 7340 South Clinton Street in Englewood; Blackberries Bar & Grill, at 3090 Downing Street (the Blackberries coffee shop is still going strong on Welton); Pulcinella, at 1800 Lawrence Street; and, most interestingly, Aix, at 719 East 17th Avenue, which had been behaving like a restaurant looking toward the future (with menu changes and event dinners) right up until it suddenly closed last weekend. It's been purchased by the folks behind Duo (and on the line at Duo), who are planning to put a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in the space, with an opening target of April.

Last week's bright spot was the opening of Heaven Star (7600 West 120th Avenue in Broomfield), a second restaurant from the folks behind Super Star Asian, Denver's Best Dim Sum joint. And Phoenix-based chef Mark Tarbell, who regularly wins Best Pizza honors with his pies at The Oven, has finally opened his long-awaited, long-promised second Denver restaurant, Mark & Isabella, at 425 South Teller Street in the Belmar project (the old Chama space), which is just spitting distance from the Oven.

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