When he opened CY Steak (Steve Wynn had put his initials on his Las Vegas steakhouse, too) in 2009, Young said that he wanted to give Denver a feel for the sumptuous surroundings you might find in a French cabaret, complete with elegant food, a huge cigar collection, fancy wine (Young owns Cote D'Or Distributing) and "Las Vegas-style entertainment."
Young had made his mark on the Denver dining scene 25 years earlier, when he opened his eponymous Cliff Young's, the hottest restaurant in town in 1984 — a beautiful space on East 17th Avenue that was full of beautiful people eating beautiful food. After that restaurant ended its run in ’93 (the now-vacant space later became Dante Bichette's and then Denver's first Hamburger Mary's), Young moved to France, where he bought an old manor house in Beaune that he turned into a restaurant and residence club; he also started his wine business.
Fifteen years later, Young put his property on the market and returned to Denver with big ideas for the dining room attached to the strip club, which had previously been occupied by Oscar's, a Jim Sullivan project. "By branding it," Young told us at the time, "I'm saying I believe in this location, I believe in the image. I think there's a fundamental need for it. I'm not going to hide from the Cabaret."
In fact, dancers would strut their stuff on a runway that bisected the dining room, entertaining tables full of conventioneers and couples enjoying one of Denver's most unusual date nights.
And Young enjoyed it all, too. "Nine-plus great years," he says. "Life fulfilled and fulfilling."
Although Young has moved on, his son, Zach, is still running Bar Red, the venue around the corner at 437 West Colfax Avenue, and some of their cooks continue to work for the club, Young says.
Diamond Cabaret spokesman Mike Medina says the club will have an update about plans to replace CY Steak in a few weeks. And in the meantime: a Stormy's coming!