August restaurant openings got off to a slow start but picked up steam by month's end, keeping pace with the rest of the year, which has averaged about twenty openings a month. Big-name national acts were part of the mix, with Sol Cocina, from Southern California, and Departure, from Portland, Oregon, adding their names to the roster of Cherry Creek North eateries. Fast-casual chains Zoës Kitchen and Thrive 360 also wedged their way into the already packed scene.
But it was this month's closings that took us by surprise, especially the loss of Patsy's Inn, which had served classic Italian-American noodles and red sauce in the Highland neighborhood for more than ninety years. By that standard, Mona's on 15th Street and Black Pearl on Old South Pearl seemed like upstarts, even though they'd each clocked more than a decade before calling it quits (both could re-emerge in some form or other in the coming months). And Osaka Ramen barely lasted a year in the fickle Cherry Creek neighborhood. Fortunately for ramen-heads, the RiNo original is still going strong.
Summer, with tourists in town and extra outdoor seats filled with sun-lovers, doesn't seem like a great time to close for renovations, but that's just what several restaurants — Zengo, Adrift and Barricuda's — did. Barricuda's managed an overhaul in less than a month and is now back in action with karaoke and its late-late-night menu, while Zengo expects to reopen by late September and Adrift is undergoing an ownership change that will result in a new menu as well as updated decor. And this weekend, the Tavern Uptown will close for a lengthy stretch as the building gives way to a massive overhaul that will usher in a new retail/residential complex as well as a new Tavern. The current Tavern will close after Labor Day but is hosting a weekend-long bash with lots of discounts starting Friday night.
Here's our complete list of August openings and closings:
RESTAURANTS/BARS OPENING IN AUGUST*:
Anointed BBQ & Soul Food, 2504 West Hampden Avenue
Bierstadt Lagerhaus, 2875 Blake Street
Biryani Pot, 3157 West 38th Avenue
Board Game Republic, 900 West First Avenue
Carnitas California, 1470 South Santa Fe Drive
Cheese Ranch Artisan Deli, 601 16th Street, Golden
City & Country Deli & Sausage Co., 2393 South Downing
Cochino Taco, 3495 South Downing Street, Englewood
Departure Restaurant & Lounge, 245 Columbine Street
Downpours Coffee, 1200 Clayton Street
Fat Jack's, 906 Curtis Street
Lancer's Diner, 2991 West Evans Avenue
Nixon's Coffee House, 695 East Louisiana Avenue
Resolute Brewing Company, 7286 South Yosemite Street, Centennial
Rocker Spirits, 5587 South Hill Street, Littleton
Rush Bowls, 1665 Central Street
Sol Cocina, 250 Columbine Street
Thrive 360 Eatery at 1001 17th Street Torchy's Tacos, 8505 East Arapahoe Road
White Fence Farm, 7615 West 88th Avenue, Westminster
Zoës Kitchen, 1970 15th Street
RESTAURANTS/BARS REOPENING IN AUGUST*:
Barricuda's (remodel), 1056 Ogden Street
Mary Jane's Pizza (moved from 2013 West 32nd Avenue), 3090 Downing Street
The Denver Wrangler (moved from 1700 Logan Street), 3090 Downing Street
RESTAURANTS/BARS CHANGING NAMES IN AUGUST*:
Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales (from Former Future Brewing), 1290 South Broadway
RESTAURANTS/BARS TEMPORARILY CLOSING IN AUGUST*:
4 G's Mexican Restaurant (moving to Englewood), 2200 South Broadway
Adrift (remodeling after ownership change), 218 South Broadway
Z Cuisine, 2239 West 30th Avenue
Zengo (extensive remodel), 1610 Little Raven Street
Patsy's regulars order one last round.
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RESTAURANTS/BARS CLOSING IN AUGUST*:
Amass, 2240 Clay Street
Black Pearl, 1529 South Pearl Street
John Holly's Asian Bistro, 1028 South Gaylord Street
La Polleria, 7422 South University Boulevard, Littleton
Mona's, 2364 15th Street
Osaka Ramen Cherry Creek, 2817 East Third Avenue
Patsy's Inn, 3651 Navajo Street
The Walnut Room Pizzeria, 2 Broadway
*Or earlier, and not reported in a previous Second Helping.