Cautious optimism was the theme for bars and restaurants in February, which saw a combination of declining COVID-19 numbers, increased dining room capacity and a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans helping businesses stay afloat. While many eateries are still choosing to stay closed until patio weather returns and health and safety for guests and employees looks more certain, a surprising number of new restaurants and bars opened last month — including a few big hitters.
Biggest of all was Perdida, which opened the doors to its bright, well-appointed open-kitchen eatery on February 8. The coastal Mexican cantina took over the former home of the Tavern Wash Park and transformed it from a clubby sports bar into a sun-drenched tribute to Baja's beaches. Over in Aurora's Fitzsimons neighborhood, a new version of Ambli Mexico cropped up. Fans of Ambli, which was originally located at 600 South Holly Street, only had to wait a couple of months for the move after the restaurant closed last November. And on the last weekend of the month, Edgewater got its own Syrup, the popular breakfast destination with three other Denver locations. Syrup was founded in Cherry Creek in 2010 by Tim Dougherty and subsequently expanded to downtown and City Park.
The L and The Wild also opened in February, giving cocktail drinkers hope for the eventual return of Denver's bar culture. The L comes from former Bonanno Concepts beverage director Adam Hodak, while the Wild is the third drinkery for Jake Soffes, who also owns Lady Jane and Hudson Hill. For those who prefer suds — whether drinking or soaking in them — the Beer Spa by Snug opened with private spa rooms with soaking tubs and a beer and wine taproom on the side.
Closings were mercifully few, with only Newbarry's — one of Federal Boulevard's oldest restaurants — officially going dark. The status of Newbarry's had been uncertain for much of 2020, but a new sign was erected last month announcing that the building will soon become Poncho's Buffet (not to be confused with Tex-Mex buffet chain Pancho's...or is that the idea?).
Here's our complete list of restaurant and bar openings and closings in February:
Restaurants and Bars Opening in February*
5 Star East African Restaurant, 262 Havana Street, Aurora
Ambli Mexico, 2101 Ursula Street, Aurora
Beard Papa's, 1699 South Colorado Boulevard
The Beer Spa by Snug, 3004 Downing Street
Cupbop, 13700 East Colfax Avenue, Aurora
The Green Bus Cafe, 2936 Larimer Street
In-N-Out Burger, 9171 Westview Road, Lone Tree
The L, 46 Broadway
Larimer Records Cafe, 1445 Larimer Street
Perdida, 1066 South Gaylord Street
Saigon City Restaurant, 555 South Federal Boulevard
Sheridan Steak House, 2035 South Sheridan Boulevard
Syrup, 5457 West 20th Avenue, Edgewater
Therizo Cafe + Tap, 2890 Fairfax Street
The Wild, 1660 Wynkoop Street
Restaurants and Bars Closing in February*
Newbarry's, 2995 West Jewell Avenue
*Or earlier, and not previously reported.
Do you know of any openings or closings that aren't on our list? Let us know in the comments, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.