And in many other cases, the decision not to reopen — or to shut down after reopening — is prompted not just by health concerns, but by tough economic realities.
All over town, seemingly stable eateries have thrown in the towel because the option of operating at 50 percent capacity indefinitely (or at least until a vaccine is produced), or shifting business models to something unsustainable (such as paying exorbitant third-party delivery fees) just didn't make sense. Breaking even was a tough enough proposition for restaurants facing high rent and rising food and payroll costs before the pandemic, but now it has become nearly impossible in the short term.
Among the recent announcements was one from Butcher's Bistro on its website: "We have closed our doors permanently. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for the love and support you've shown over the last 6 years." Butcher's Bistro was founded by Scott Bauer and Tyson Holzheimer, who took over the former home of Jeff Osaka's Twelve at 2233 Larimer Street six years ago. (The followup to Twelve, [email protected] in Congress Park, also closed in the wake of the pandemic.) Butcher's Bistro specialized in whole-animal cooking, so each night brought a different variety of steak, chops, roasts and other cuts. "Denver. We love you," the owner added on the bistro's Facebook page. "And yes, we'll meat again."
there's a second Bent Fork, even if it's an hour drive north, in Loveland.
Also in Aurora, El Jaripeo, at 1050 South Havana Street, won't be back. The Mexican restaurant and sports bar had just opened in late 2018 but was unable to hold on through the mandated restaurant closing period from March 17 to May 27.
And at 2290 South Colorado Boulevard, the dining room of Marrakech Grill is empty of furnishings, and there's a for-lease sign in the window. For more than a dozen years, the Lebanese/Persian restaurant had added its distinct flavors on a stretch of Colorado Boulevard known for Middle Eastern cuisine.
But despite the difficult times, new options continue to pop up. Coming soon: Brasserie Brixton at 3701 Williams Street, which is slated to open on July 28.
Do you know of any other openings and closings? We run an update every Saturday; in the meantime, send information to [email protected].