Reader: This City Goes to Sleep Wayyy Too Early

Izakaya Ronin is a new late-night option.
Izakaya Ronin is a new late-night option.
Mark Antonation
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We recently served up our list of ten places where Denver eats after 2 a.m., and comments keep coming in from readers, including one who said that Denver "was criminally devoid of places to eat after 9 or 10 p.m." Readers also responded to that, arguing that "criminally" was a little harsh. What about Benny Blanco's in Capitol Hill? Viva Burrito, and other Mexican spots on West Alameda Avenue? And, of course, there are the standbys that made our list, including Pete's Kitchen and Jerusalem, as well as newcomer Izakaya Ronin.

But is that enough in a town with a booming restaurant scene?

Not according to Kyle, who says:

This city goes to sleep wayyy to early. There is a late-night economy in most cities, which Denver is lacking. From Walmart to Taco Bell, this city closes early.

Responds Ben:

I’m sorry to hear that. I hear Los Angeles and New York don’t have those deficiencies. Perhaps you’d enjoy them.

Counters Eric: 

So true. After a Gothic show on Friday I made it all the way to Pete's Kitchen before we found good food.

Adds Michael: 

I didn't realize this until recently. Got off work at 11 p.m. and nothing but Taco Bell, Del Taco or McDonald's open.

Suggests Aaron: 

McCoy's diner at I-70 and Federal is 24 hours and better than any Denny's or IHOP.

Notes Mike:

 It's always been this way. This place dies after 10 pm. It really sucks if you are a shift worker.

But Colin replies: 

I've always thought that Denver has a decent amount of places open after hours. I had a harder time trying to find places to eat in the Bay area late at night than I do here. You just have to know where to look.

Responds Matt: 

Grandma city. I've said it since I was sixteen.

Adds Cody: 

It does feel like outside of diners and fast food, there’s not a lot of options. Last night had dinner at Izakaya Ronin on Brighton Boulevard and the cocktails were phenomenal, food was fantastic, too!

Notes John: 

Business always adapts to demand. I know of a number of places that serve until 11 p.m. or later. My Brother's Bar comes to mind.

But Evan responds:

 It's super-frustrating. I remember coming home from the bar in Milwaukee and there was at least a half dozen options that were still open for delivery. Jimmy John's was the only chain that I remember open past 2 a.m., but I think it's super uncommon for Chinese restaurants to not be open. Why do they close at 9 p.m. in Denver? Same with most non-chain pizzerias. Not only are they not open "late," they close at 9 p.m. when the some people aren't even leaving home for the bars yet. It's really odd. You would think they a lot of those businesses are leaving hundreds of dollars on the table by closing so early. It's criminal.

And finally, there's this from Scott, whose comment started this latest round: 

Westword, appreciate you addressing my comment! Do continue to cover and encourage late-night eats!

What else made our original list? Fat Sully's/Atomic Cowboy on East Colfax and Broadway; Ian's Pizza, Cherry Cricket and Biker Jim's in the Ballpark neighborhood; Voodoo Doughnut on East Colfax; Fat Shack in the University of Denver neighborhood; Pie Hole on Broadway.

At Izakaya Ronin at 3053 Brighton Boulevard, one of the spots name-checked by a reader, chef/partner Corey Baker set out to fill a void in the dining scene with a Japanese-style pub that wouldn't even start serving food until 10 p.m. While the sushi bar upstairs keeps more standard hours, the subterranean bar, located in what was once a boiler room, was supposed to stay open until 2 a.m. But those hours have already been moved up and cut back.

On this long weekend, where will you go for late-night eats? What other spots are real finds? Post a comment, or mail your ideas to cafe@westword.com.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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