So much for family-friendly cola chicken at Coop de Ville at the Stingray, the Sunnyside restaurant that Leigh Jones and her partner, Margret Moore, reopened and re-conceptualized in February after closing Stingray, a neighborhood watering hole and pizza joint that the two had opened last year.
The chicken shack, as we reported on Friday, has flown the coop, and according to Moore, the reasons are twofold.
"Our lease was coming to an end at Coop de Ville, and we felt like the struggle to keep going under a new lease was going to be too much, plus the neighborhood just wasn't ready to really support what we do," explains Moore, adding that while she and Jones will "miss being a part of north Denver, we feel it's time to put some real focus back onto the places we have going currently, and ultimately, it came down to making a decision we felt worked for us."
And the decision, she says, resulted in selling Coop de Ville to Kourtnie Harris and her husband, Steve, who purchased the space and will join forces with Jones in a new venture called the Universal, a coffee, brunch and lunch joint that will be open seven days a week -- from 7 a.m. till 2 p.m. on weekdays and 2:30 p.m. on weekends. "Kourtnie has worked for Jonesy's for several years, and this has been her and her husband's dream. I think it'll be a great fit for that neighborhood, and I believe they have the passion that the space really needs," says Moore, noting that she and Jones "feel a true sense of relief by putting this behind us and moving on."
And the staff from Coop de Ville has moved on as well, to the Bar Car and the Horseshoe Lounge, both of which are run by Moore and Jones, who also own Jonesy's EatBar. "We were able to place all of our bar staff at our other places, which we're really happy about," stresses Moore. And Coop's former chef, Nathan White, along with the rest of the kitchen crew, will be behind the burners at Gary Lee's Motor Club & Grub, which has encountered numerous delays since owner Gary Lee Bomar first announced his plans to open a space on South Broadway but is slated (finally!) to unlock its doors this week.
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"The immediate future holds no new ventures for Leigh and me together," says Moore, who will focus her efforts on the Horseshoe Lounge and personal projects. "I have a Bloody Mary mix that I've always wanted to bottle and market, so perhaps that will come to fruition. It'll also be nice to focus on family and kids for a while this summer."
In the meantime, the Universal is scheduled to open late next month or in early June.