Food News

RIP: Chef Denn Phelps Passes Away Less Than a Month After Opening Point Easy in Whittier

Dennis "Denn" Phelps pictured in the Point Easy kitchen in early July.
Dennis "Denn" Phelps pictured in the Point Easy kitchen in early July. Point Easy
The team behind a brand-new Denver restaurant has experienced a tragic loss. On June 29, Point Easy opened in the former Whittier Pub space at 2000 East 28th Avenue. The concept behind it came from a trio of owners: Andy Bruch and brothers Dan and Dennis "Denn" Phelps. But on July 22, Denn unexpectedly passed away at age 37.

A statement from the Point East team reads:
It is with our deepest sorrow that we share the news of the passing of our dear friend, brother and colleague Denn Phelps. Denn had been battling health issues that resulted in sudden heart failure. He passed away peacefully at his home late in the evening of July 22. We will carry on his legacy at Point Easy through his passion for cooking, community and caring. Thank you for your overwhelming support and understanding during this difficult time.
Last August, Westword spoke with Denn about his vision for Point Easy.

“Looking at past experiences, the times I’ve been most frustrated is when you let things get [to point chaos],” Denn explained. “Point Easy is feel-good,” he added, referencing when the restaurant and staff run smoothly, translating seamlessly to a positive guest experience.
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Denn Phelps (left) with Andy Bruch and Dan Phelps in 2021, in front of the space that would become Point Easy.
Kristin Pazulski
We visited Point Easy in late June, and found a bright and airy addition to the neighborhood serving destination-worthy food. Had the launch aligned with the "point easy" goal? "Sure," Denn replied, "but today I feel I'm at point lucky, point fortunate."

The team took off Sunday, July 23, to process the news of Denn's death; the current plan is to open for regular hours on Wednesday, July 27.

Although it's brand-new, Point Easy is already a promising addition to the dining scene — and a place where we can continue to experience Denn's spirit through the work of his friends and colleagues.
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Molly Martin is the Westword Food & Drink editor. She’s been writing about the dining scene in Denver since 2013, and was eating her way around the city long before that. She enjoys long walks to the nearest burrito joint and nights spent sipping cocktails on Colfax.
Contact: Molly Martin