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Twelve Restaurant Closings in Six Months That Reflect Changing Scene

A new look and new menu couldn't save Zengo.
A new look and new menu couldn't save Zengo. Danielle Lirette

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McCormick's Fish House occupied this corner for thirty years, but it will soon become Urban Farmer. - WESTWORD
McCormick's Fish House occupied this corner for thirty years, but it will soon become Urban Farmer.
Westword
McCormick's Fish House
1659 Wazee Street

The things we miss about McCormick's disappeared years ago: the dirt-cheap happy hour burgers, the antique bar where you'd surely run into someone you knew, and well-prepared if not exactly cutting-edge cuisine. But in its final few years, the downtown fish house at the foot of the Oxford Hotel was on life support, losing its heart and soul under corporate ownership. Sure, the original McCormick's, before it was purchased by Landry's Inc., was part of a small national chain, but it always had the feel of a local joint.

click to enlarge These doors closed for good  on Wednesday, June 28. - WESTWORD FILE PHOTO
These doors closed for good on Wednesday, June 28.
Westword file photo
The Squeaky Bean
1500 Wynkoop Street

The Bean was irreverent while remaining respectful of ingredients, upscale while maintaining a sense of humor. Perhaps the intentional contradictions and dual nature eventually proved too confusing for a new wave of diners, but we'll miss the shrine and memorial cocktail to departed celebrities, the bawdy Bingo brunch and the farm-fresh food.

Silvi's Kitchen
686 South Colorado Boulevard
7600 Grandview Avenue, Arvada

The change from Udi's to Silvi's in 2014 didn't do much to bring in new customers for the local restaurant group, and competition from a growing variety of fast-casual concepts meant more and more options for Denverites looking for great food on the go. The two remaining Silvi's closed in late spring so that the Bar-on family could focus on its Izzio Artisan Bakery (which is helping make the Denver Central Market in RiNo a top-tier food destination) and Etai's eateries.

Southern Hospitality, Downtown and Lonetree
Carve Barbecue, 1000 South Colorado Boulevard

Barbecue fans are finicky; the aroma of wood smoke and pork fat can easily be tainted by even a whiff of corporate slickness. A Southern concept born in New York City with celebrity ties to the music industry (Justin Timberlake was an original investor) was perhaps a little much for folks just looking for good ribs and pulled pork.

click to enlarge Turley's Kitchen closed on Sunday, May 21, after forty years under the same family. - FACEBOOK/TURLEY'S KITCHEN
Turley's Kitchen closed on Sunday, May 21, after forty years under the same family.
Turley's
2805 Pearl Street, Boulder

Even community favorites grow old; Turley's served Boulder for forty years, helping shape the town's reputation for all-natural eating and making the word "granola" about far more than just a crunchy breakfast snack. For decades Turley's embodied the Boulder lifestyle, but it closed in May after being unable to find a buyer willing to fly the tie-dyed flag under new ownership.

click to enlarge A new look and new menu couldn't save Zengo. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
A new look and new menu couldn't save Zengo.
Danielle Lirette
Zengo
1610 Little Raven Street

In the early 2000s, Zengo was a smack to the face of Denver's traditional restaurant circuit. Diners flocked to the hip, loungy room in a new neighborhood for a cutting-edge experience that blended Mexican and Asian influences into something bold and racy. But more than a dozen years later, the city's dining scene caught up with Zengo, making it just another option in a sea of newer, hipper and more relevant choices.
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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation