The guests at Concourse Restaurant Moderne have spoken, and apparently they want more Asian cuisine. And so chef/restaurateur Lon Symensma is closing the two-year-old Stapleton eatery on Saturday, September 22, and will reopen the space, at 10195 East 29th Drive, as a second version of ChoLon Modern Asian.
The restaurant will close for a short period to reconfigure the kitchen and the front bar (which had initially been set up to include morning pastry and coffee service), but when it reopens in November, it won't be a cookie-cutter version of the downtown ChoLon (at 1555 Blake Street). Symensma has promoted Becca Henry, a seven-year veteran of his restaurant group, to executive chef to oversee the new version, and is also giving recently hired dumpling chef Michelle Xiao her own space to create an expanded dim sum menu. Xiao will have an exhibition space near the front entrance where guests will be able to witness her expertise, built over a career spanning more than thirty years in New York City and China.
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Henry will oversee a menu comprising ChoLon's signature dishes (including the iconic French onion soup dumplings and kaya toast with egg cloud) as well as new items that will only be served at the Stapleton outpost. Among those will be a range of accessible wok-cooked specialties, allowing the kitchen the flexibility to cater to allergy- and aversion-based requests.
Symensma is currently in Southeast Asia touring his favorite food cities with Henry and ChoLon sous-chef Kyle Clark, so they'll be coming back with inspiration for new flavors and dishes. In the meantime, the chef's business partner and chief operating officer, Christopher Davis-Massey, notes that "while it is bittersweet to close Concourse, we listened to our customers and the neighborhood, and realized the desire — not only for an Asian concept in Stapleton, but for more access to our flagship restaurant, ChoLon."
Concourse opened in Stapleton's Eastbridge Town Center in April 2017 with chef Luke Bergman at the helm, serving an ultra-modern slate of European and New American small plates. The restaurant captured Symensma's ability to create wondrous new sensations from traditional dishes (such as the celery-root soup served as a trompe l'oeil cappuccino), but Stapleton is more of a family-oriented neighborhood than an edgy, urban environment, so the transformation, especially with menu additions built for the area, appears to make sense.
Concourse first hit the Stapleton scene along with Los Chingones, HashTAG, Next Door American Eatery and chef Elise Wiggins's Cattivella, all of which share space at the Eastbridge plaza with the Constellation Ice Cream kiosk. Symensma's other restaurants include LeRoux and Cho77, all on the same block as the original ChoLon.