Denver restaurateur Patrick Mangold-White, 53, passed away on July 7 after being struck by a tree while on a fishing trip near Philipsburg, Montana. Mangold-White was known for his big personality and even bigger heart. The owner of Kaos Pizzeria, Uno Mas and Bird on South Pearl Street in the Platt Park neighborhood, as well as a second Uno Mas on Sixth Avenue and Mas Kaos on Tennyson Street, Mangold-White was a major part of the local hospitality community.
"He was a wine rep for years and worked with so many of the hot, fine dining restaurants, and he also spent time traveling in Europe and developed this really sophisticated palate," says Richard "Little Rich" Schneider, whose family owns Raquelitas Tortillas. "His culinary knowledge was unequaled."
Schneider met Mangold-White when he came to him with an idea for a taco restaurant. "At the time, everyone wanted to be the next Tacos Tequila Whiskey, but Patrick made the idea his own," Schneider remembers. "He wanted to use local ingredients and make tacos inspired by all the places he'd been to."
And Mangold-White did just that, opening Uno Mas in 2013. Prior to that, he'd opened Kaos Pizzeria and Gaia Bistro (now closed) on South Pearl. "He was somebody who came up through the ranks of the restaurant industry and ended up owning his own restaurants," says longtime Denver restaurant consultant John Imbergamo. "That's what the industry is all about." Mangold-White had worked for Imbergamo as a pizza cook and later general manager at Cucina Leone, an upscale gourmet eatery and coffee shop that primarily did food to-go in the Bonnie Brae neighborhood decades ago.
"The last time I saw him was last summer, after the fallout from COVID," Schneider says. "[Uno Mas] was one of my first stops. I drove up there and we just had so much fun. Patrick brought out tacos and talked about what each one meant to him. It was really a celebration of his work."
They also talked falcons. Along with being a restaurant owner, chef, sommelier and fisherman, Mangold-White was a falconer. "I joked that training falcons must really help him when it comes to training restaurant staff," Schneider remembers.
Business partner Will Silva shared some of his memories of Mangold-White on Facebook: "I heard of Pat before I met him —Stories of a restauranteur who treated his staff well, who took them on yearly trips to Mexico. Who hunted rabbits with falcons and dogs and loved fly fishing. Who loved his wife and daughter. I became his business partner because I saw something I have seen in very few — a passion to do business as we should live our lives - with zeal for others, and a desire to enjoy the process. Thank you, Pat, for the laughs, great talks and your friendship. Here’s to a life well-led. I’ll miss you, bud."
In a public Facebook post on July 8, Mangold-White's daughter, Zoe, shared the sad news:
I still honestly can’t believe that I’m writing this, but yesterday my father unexpectedly passed away while on his annual fishing trip.
my dad had such a large family, both of blood relatives, and of people that thought of him as a member of their own family. So many people are going to miss him. He was my hunting partner, my travel guide, the person I went to with things that I couldn’t go to anyone else with....
For what it’s worth, my dad always had an immense fear of hospitals. He said that he didn’t want to die in a bed, and that if he could pick any way to die it would be on the river. That’s what’s making me smile right now. I love you dad.
A post from Kaos Pizzeria and Mangold-White's other establishments notes that each will be closed July 9 "in support of all those who have lost such a wonderful, cherished person."
"To add to the tragedy of Patrick Mangold-White's passing during his annual camping trip, we've learned that his life insurance policy was in lapse at the time of the accident. We're asking for support to cover this additional circumstance," reads a GoFundMe page that has been set up by his family.
Whether at one of his restaurants or another spot, we should all raise a glass to Patrick Mangold-White, a beloved member of the restaurant community and beyond, gone far too soon.
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