Next month, Ghost Plate & Tap, an elevated pub with a formidable beer list and an excellent cocktail program, would have celebrated its second anniversary downtown, but the Wynkoop/Breckenridge concept, which opened in June of 2011, is shuttering just shy of its two-year anniversary, closing this Friday, directly after lunch service.
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"When Ghost opened, it was a greatest hits concept," says publicist Stefanie Jones, adding that the "most iconic dishes" from the Wynkoop Brewery, Breckenridge Brewery, Wazee Supper Club, Goosetown Tavern, Gaetano's and Ale House at Amato's -- all of which are owned by Lee Driscoll and Ed Cerkovnik -- were on the menu at Ghost, which didn't make a whole lot of sense, especially considering Ghost's proximity to the Wynkoop Brewery and Breckenridge Brewery, both of which are just blocks away.
"Ghost was sort of cannibalizing from the Wynkoop and Breckenridge Brewery, and Lee and Ed made an intentional decision to review concepts as they opened, and in closing Ghost, they're trying to limit the replications of their other concepts," explains Jones. "They'd rather strive to open new and unique concepts in the Colorado market," she adds.
And with two additional restaurants in the works -- MainLine in Fort Collins, a behemoth 11,000-square-foot bistro that will open in July and a still-unnamed restaurant on South Pearl Street that will open in September in the Izakaya Den space -- there's plenty to keep Driscoll and Cerkovnik busy. And according to Jones, both of those restaurants will focus on beers, cocktails and upscale food. Bar-star Ken Kodys is overseeing all of the cocktail programs at the Wynkoop/Breckenridge restaurants, and the kitchens, says Jones, are "focused on elevating the culinary experience and moving away from pub grub."
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As for Ghost, which is owned -- not leased -- by Driscoll and Cerkovnik, there are no current plans for a new tenant to take up residence in the historic building that was home to the Rocky Mountain Diner for years. The staff, stresses Jones, were all given severance and offered jobs at the other Wynkoop/Breckenridge restaurants, and TJ Hobbs, the current chef of Ghost, will now be the corporate training chef for all of those concepts.