Openings and Closings

After Five Years, La Polleria Goes Dark

No sooner does one South American eatery announce its intentions to invade Denver's southern suburbs than another flies the coop. Argentinian cafe Maria Empanada is heading to Greenwood Village in September, which is great news for commuters and residents of the Denver Tech Center — but just a few miles away, La Polleria, a Peruvian rotisserie chicken joint, has gone dark.

La Polleria was one of our favorites stops in the area; we were big fans of the flavorful, smoky chicken cooked slowly over mesquite charcoal in an imported Peruvian oven. But owners Bob Van Diest, his wife, Rosario, and their sons Ryan and Jason pulled the plug on the rotisserie last month.
Ryan left this note on the company's Facebook page:
Over the past 5 years of owning my restaurant I've been through the hardest times of my life as well as enjoyed some of the best times. While some may say I failed, was unsuccessful, or "...I knew this would happen..." You may be right but the way I look at it is a learning experience. I'm glad we took the risk in chasing a dream rather than wonder about it for the rest of life. I do feel bad for all my regular customers who I let down. No matter if you were the one who came a couple times a week or once a month your loyalty helped us get as far as we did. Nothing in the world could replace the feeling when I had a guest tell me "this is my new favorite restaurant" or "this is the best chicken I've ate in my life" knowing that people really liked what I did gave me reason to get up in the morning and do it all over again. The restaurant business is hard work and very competitive and I couldn't thank my family enough for all that they did to help support me over the years. Life is to short to go out and do something everyday that you don't like doing. My parents now realize that they don't care to much for working in the restaurant industry so I'm happy for them they no longer have that stress on their shoulders. My love for cooking will always be there and I hope to be able to take that risk again someday soon in pursuing life in the kitchen. Thank you all again so much for the experience you gave me over the years. Rather than calling you a customer I see you all as my friends so please don't hesitate to keep in touch. I hope to you see you all sooner rather than later. And in the meantime please continue to support small businesses because more than likely it's someone pursing a dream in doing something that they love.

La Polleria also added a message that left some hope for those of us who would love to see more Peruvian chicken in town:
Thank you to ALL our friends, family, and guests for supporting us over the years here at La Polleria! The time has come for us to go in a different direction.
An EXTRA BIG SHOUT OUT and THANK YOU to ALL the folks who tipped us big and small! It was greatly appreciated and helped us out a lot! We ask you to continue to support small businesses everywhere and encourage you to try the new restaurant coming here called “Sizzle Grill”.
Bob and Rosario are retiring from food service.
Bob will continue his real estate practice at Cherry Creek Properties.
Ryan and the Peruvian brick oven are contemplating their future. Stay tuned to LaPolleriaUSA on facebook for updates.
please message Ryan with any ideas or comments
We'll certainly be at the head of the line if La Polleria reemerges in another form. Until then, good luck to the Van Diest family in their new endeavors. 

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation