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8 Rivers will dry up in LoDo this weekend

At the end of service on Saturday, October 29,

8 Rivers Modern Caribbean Restaurant

will close the doors for good at 1550 Blake Street, its third location -- but not its last.

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After opening their first restaurant, the Jamaican Cafe, in Santa Monica, California, chef Scott Durrah and his wife, Wanda James, moved to Colorado and opened the original 8 Rivers in Rock Creek, outside of Boulder, in 2005. The next year, they moved the restaurant to Highland Square, to a spot that's now home to Venue . And three years ago, they moved 8 Rivers to the heart of LoDo, to the 1500 block of Blake Street that's seen a lot of restaurant action -- but also has high rents, inspiring the couple to look for "more equitable space," James says.

And so the 8 Rivers in LoDo is drying up.

Even though they've gotten very involved in the medical marijuana edibles business (read William Breathes's cover story on Scott Durrah's pot-cooking classes here), the couple definitely isn't giving up on restaurants. "Everything is good," promises James. "Jerk chicken will always be on the menu. There will be another 8 Rivers. Chef Scott loves what we do, loves Denver, and can't wait to get the customers in the new place..."

Make that new places, because the couple is looking at opening a second restaurant concept in addition to the revived 8 Rivers. A deal could be sealed on at least one of those ventures as early as November 1.

In the meantime, the restaurant closed Tuesday night for a staff party, and the annual 8 Rivers celebration of Bob Marley's birthday this weekend will go on as planned -- though with perhaps a little more poignance than usual. "Closing a restaurant is like saying goodbye to a good friend," says Durrah.

A version of this story was included in yesterday's Cafe Bites, our weekly restaurant e-mail newsletter. To subcribe, sign up here.

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