Two big endings made big news this week: After five months, the owners of the rebooted Campus Lounge pulled the plug, with partner Dan Landes acknowledging that he just didn't produce what the neighborhood wanted. And at the close of service March 31, Solera will cease after sixteen years; Goose Sorensen is leaving his restaurant, and a barbeque joint is moving in. Another closing went under the radar: Larimer Square is no longer the land of Milk & Honey, an ambitious spot that shut its doors on the same day as the Campus.
As for openings, this was both a beery and a spiritual week, with the reboot of Oasis Brewing Company in its new West Highland home and the arrival of Asheville, North Carolina, Belgian beer specialist Thirsty Monk.
Oasis was a microbrew mainstay in the 1990s but closed in 2001. It has been resurrected in a gorgeous space inside what was once the Beth Eden Baptist Church, so now you really can worship at the church of beer. Across town, Thirsty Monk took over the former Deep Draft Brewing space in Uptown, offering an impressive lineup of beers brewed here in Denver by Brian Grace (the former head brewer at Crooked Stave) as well as by the mothership brewery in Asheville. Along with monastic beers, the bar will serve several taster sets of food for $8, each with a protein, a cheese, crackers and a sauce designed to pair with specific styles of beer. If you're not sure about what goes with what, the menu is clearly marked with recommended pairings, and coasters also offer suggestions. All of the proteins — from meatballs to green chile stew — are being made by neighborhood restaurants, including Olive & Finch, Humboldt, Jack's Uptown Grill and Patxi's Pizza.
Restaurants and Bars Opening This Week*
Oasis Brewing Company, 3257 Lowell Boulevard
Thirsty Monk, 1604 East 17th Avenue
Restaurants and Bars Closing This Week*
Campus Lounge, 701 South University
Milk & Honey, 1414 Larimer Street
Quijote's, 1043 Broadway
Solera (Saturday), 1540 East Colfax Avenue