Cheeky Monk Westminster and Grey Cactus Go Dark

Almost every restaurant in town seems to be packed to the rafters, adding brunch or lunch to accommodate more guests, or figuring out other ways to keep the wait lists flowing so that customers don't  jump to the next trendy eatery down the block. But amid a flurry of April openings, a couple of restaurants quietly closed.

Belgian beer bar Cheeky Monk has thrived in its Colfax Avenue location since opening in 2007, and owners James and Tina Pachorek recently added the Lost Highway brewery next door to their collection of sudsy establishments, which also includes another Cheeky Monk in Winter Park. But the Westminster Cheeky Monk didn't fare so well. The spot has closed, its sign down at the Orchard Town Center and any contact information removed from the Cheeky Monk website. The owners cite a raise in the rent as the main reason for closing.

While the suburbs can be a risky proposition for independent restaurants, Denver's neighborhoods continue to be hot spots for new restaurants. So it's somewhat surprising that Grey Cactus Cocina Bar is now dark, after only four months of serving tacos on the edge of the Washington Park West neighborhood on busy Alameda Avenue. Owner Dane Huguley originally opened the space as Cafe|Bar in 2011, then suddenly closed that eatery last fall, only to reopen it a month later as Grey Cactus. But now Grey has faded to black.

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