California-based vegan restaurant chain Native Foods Cafe opened five stores in the Denver-Boulder area over the past several years, but the expansion plan may have been too aggressive. The Lakewood branch closed last year, and now two more locations are gone: The Native Foods in the Denver Pavilions downtown and its sibling at 2023 South Colorado Boulevard have also shuttered.
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With the advance guard already established in Boulder, Native Foods came to Glendale in 2013, serving its meatless menu at the CitySet development — and quickly garnering a Best of Denver award for Best Vegetarian Restaurant, a rarity for a chain restaurant. That location is still open.
The company's current contraction isn't limited to Colorado; Native Foods closed the last of three Washington, D.C.,-area stores in December.
Are there too few vegans in this otherwise health-crazed state to feed Native Foods? Or do plant-based eaters just prefer something a little more earthy and homegrown to satisfy their meatless munchies?