To say that March was a strange and difficult time for restaurants, bars, breweries and other food and beverage hospitality businesses would be a grave understatement. All bars that don't serve food remain closed by state and city orders, and many restaurants chose to close completely until the in-house dining ban is lifted (on April 30 statewide and May 11 in Denver and other municipalities). In Boulder, the Ska Street Brewstillery was able to open for just over an hour on March 16 before closing again.
But there are glimmers of hope during all of this. Some places that chose to close temporarily for the health and safety of employees and customers are reopening today after two weeks of self-isolation and deep cleaning, such as Quiero Arepas at 1859 South Pearl Street; several of the eateries inside Avanti Food & Beverage, at 3200 Pecos Street (the Rotary, Meta Asian Kitchen and Leah Jane's Hot Chicken); and Uchi, at 2500 Lawrence Street, which begins call-ahead patio pick-up service today.
Coy and Rachael Webb had been planning for months to open a new outpost of Roaming Buffalo Bar-B-Q in Golden, but they didn't expect to welcome their first customers with takeout-only orders. But the new smokehouse is now serving a to-go menu of smoked meats, sandwiches and sides — plus booze orders — for the northwest suburbs to complement the original at 2387 South Downing Street, where the brisket, ribs, pulled pork and sausage generally sell out well before dinner every day.
Chef Wayne Conwell opened Tai Tai Japanese in the Happy Canyon shopping center at the beginning of March, only to face dining room closures there and at his flagship eatery, Sushi Sasa. Both remain open for takeout and delivery, and Conwell says Tai Tai is well positioned for folks in south Denver looking for something unique to eat and drink at home, since the sushi bar has an online order form and offers a good list of sake, Japanese whisky and cocktails for delivery and curbside pick-up. Baba & Pop's Handmade Pierogi opened on March 10 on East Colfax Avenue in Aurora, and while the dining room is closed, the kitchen is still cranking out pierogi for delivery to a wide swath of the Front Range. Visit the Baba & Pop's Facebook page for details.
Here's our complete list of restaurants that opened in March (even a few since the March 17 shutdown began) or that closed permanently before the mandate. Of course, those that have opened are currently serving takeout and/or delivery only for now, or are temporarily closed (such as the Molecule Effect and Fox Run Cafe) to follow social distancing guidelines.
Restaurants Opening in March
Baba & Pop's Handmade Pierogi, 9945 East Colfax Avenue
Downpours Coffee, 1085 South Pearl Street
Five Guys Burgers, 98 Wadsworth Boulevard
Fox Run Cafe, 3550 East Colfax Avenue
Joy Hill, 1229 South Broadway
La Machaca de Mi Amá, 11809 East Colfax Avenue, Aurora
The Molecule Effect, 300 South Logan Street
Nosu Ramen, 700 12th Street, Golden
Roaming Buffalo Bar-B-Que, 17171 South Golden Road, Golden
Rose's Classic Americana (inside Rosetta Hall), 1109 Walnut Street
Tai Tai Japanese, 5078 East Hampden Avenue
Uhl's Brewing, 5460 Conestoga Court, Boulder
Restaurants Permanently Closing in March (before March 17)
Common Grounds Coffeehouse, 2139 West 44th Avenue
Euclid Hall, 1317 14th Street
Four Barrel Bar & BBQ, 7702 Ralston Road, Arvada
Liberati Restaurant & Brewery, 2403 Champa Street
The Palm Steakhouse, 1672 Lawrence Street
Pilothouse Brewing, 4233 South Buckley Road, Aurora
Rock Bottom Brewery, 14694 Orchard Parkway, Westminster
Do you know of any other openings or permanent closings that aren't on our list? Let us know in the comments or send an email to email@example.com.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.