Reader: Can Magnolia Revive the Spot Where Restaurants Go to Die?

Magnolia Cajun Dining is now open on South Broadway.EXPAND
Magnolia Cajun Dining is now open on South Broadway.
Mark Antonation

Denver diners have been craving food Cajun food, judging from the response to news that Magnolia Cajun Dining is now open at 1446 South Broadway, in an old Victorian house that's been home to many spots over the last decade.

Eric McDaniel, the chef who owns Magnolia with his wife, Katie O’Loughlin, grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana, where gumbo, boudin and crawfish are as common as green chile, burritos and buffalo burgers in Colorado. And now they've brought the taste of their home state to Colorado, stirring up a lot of interest from readers.

Says Kathleen: 

As a Louisiana girl, I will check it out. I miss good cooking.

Adds Julia: 

Hopefully better than the other Cajun places around!

Responds Pete: 

Best in Denver by far. In fact, best Cajun food I’ve ever had outside of the state of Louisiana.

Comments Sarah:

 We had dinner there tonight! Everything was delicious, service was perfect and we can’t wait to go back, probably for brunch!

But some worry about the spot's past. Says John: 

Someone shoulda told him the history of that place. Where restaurants go to die.

Notes Rebecca:

 Perhaps we should give the place another shot....maybe this inhabitant is better than when we were there that tragic Valentine's night.

Responds Alex: 

Rest in peace, Cero Cafe. Excellent food and cozy surroundings. This will now be the, what... fifth re-incarnation of this space in fourteen years?

Originally began in this area as Cero Cafe; I remember dining there. Next was a bar-food hang out titled The Open Tap, and I heard there was some owner affiliation with one of the Railbenders' founding members. That was short-lived, then opened as Black Crown; that idea had better duration and fancier aesthetics. [Turned into Crown Social.] After this was Acero Cafe, saw that open for a brief time. Then remained vacant until now... so I hope the new concept does well.

It's got a good start.

"There's a lot of culture on the plate, so it's personal to me," McDaniel says of his new restaurant, which opened just before Thanksgiving. "Some of these are my grandmother's recipes."

This is the couple's first restaurant, but the chef ran a catering company in his home state and has also worked in a variety of other restaurants. Most Coloradans familiar with Louisiana cooking know it from trips to New Orleans, but McDaniel points out that there's a difference between the Creole cuisine of New Orleans and the food he grew up with. "Lafayette is the Cajun city," he states. "To me, restaurant food is Creole and home cooking is Cajun."

Want to give it a try? Magnolia Cajun Dining is serving brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as well as lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.

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