As we've mentioned more times than probably necessary, the Mile High City was graced with nearly 300 new restaurants in 2011, but on day six of the new year, we're already beginning to lose count of the vast number of restaurants that have gone dark.
The latest joint to lock its doors for good?
Bites, a lovely little breakfast, lunch and dinner nook on South Broadway, which closed on December 31. "We certainly made some missteps along the way, but the construction that's been going on along Broadway just killed us," says owner Jim Smith, who also operates a warehouse and transportation business, along with the Cheesesteak Connection, with locations at 2260 Market Street and 1000 South Colorado Boulevard. "The construction has been going on for three years, but the last six months have been terrible, and we're just done."
Initially, Smith had plans to reopen Bites as a new concept, but that goal has fallen by the wayside. "I eventually decided to leave the food business to the professionals, so I turned the space back over to the landlord," he says, adding that "running the Cheesecake Connections is very different from running a quick-service, line-cook environment that doesn't depend on a chef."
There's already been interest in the building, notes Smith: "We're leaving all the fixtures and furnishings, and my guess is that there will be another restaurant in the space within a few months."
We'll keep an eye on any movement.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.