The original Palm Restaurant was opened in New York City in 1926 by Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi, who lacked the money to decorate the place — so they gave steak dinners to artists in exchange for caricatures and portraits drawn directly onto the walls. Fast-forward seventy years to the opening of Denver's own version of the Palm, which came complete with its own rogue's gallery of local dignitaries decorating the walls when it opened in the summer of 1996. And now, another twenty years later, the Palm is closing its doors for a two-month renovation that will bring the venerable steakhouse up to date — with or without its storied wall art.
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The restaurant closed its doors on February 20 and expects to reopen in late April, with an expansion that will provide more seating as part of the plan. Those who have witnessed changes to Denver's dining scene over the decades will remember that before the Palm came to town, 1672 Lawrence Street was home to the downtown branch of everyone's favorite breastaurant, Hooter's, which moved to 1920 Blake Street and then eventually closed.
With the closing of the Trinity Grille just a few blocks away, a good, old-school steak is becoming a rare find in downtown — at least for the next couple of months.