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Departure has closed in Cherry Creek North.
Departure has closed in Cherry Creek North.
Mark Antonation

Reader: No Departure? This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, Denver!

Earlier this month, Departure Restaurant + Lounge departed Cherry Creek North after less than three years at the Halcyon Hotel, which was recently sold to Rockbridge Capital.

"We were the venue for celebrations large and small, where friends were made and lives were changed," said the Sage Restaurant Group in announcing Departure's closing. "Although an end, it is also the beginning of a new one for Sage Restaurant Group. There are many exciting opportunities in the works for Departure, and we look forward to serving the Denver community in the near future."

Sage is reportedly looking for a new location for Departure, though it won't be in Cherry Creek. Meanwhile, readers have plenty to say about the closing and other changes in the Cherry Creek dining scene. Asks Amy: 

WTAF, Denver? This is why we can't have nice things.

Adds Dana: 

Bummer! I will miss the wings!

Says Phyllis:

 I miss the days of the Tattered Cover, the Cook's Mart and, of course, Mel's. Cherry Creek North was charming. Change, unfortunately, is inevitable...not always for the better. But I guess millennials like it?

Responds John: 

I agree the new restaurants and bars are too loud with their hard floors and high hard ceilings. It is difficult to find a place where you can actually have dinner conversation!

Concludes Dave: 

This is another instance where older generations blame millennials for trends that started before most of them graduated high school. Millennials didn't invent sparsely decorated open-concept restaurants, and we didn't abscond with all the lush, soft fabrics that used to connote luxury dining. Turns out the people that build and own the restaurants made those choices. We did kill Applebee's, tho. You're welcome.

Keep reading for more on Departure and Cherry Creek restaurants.

Reader: No Departure? This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, Denver! (3)
Mark Antonation

"Cherry Creek North Pasta Shop Reopens Under New Ownership"

Reader: No Departure? This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, Denver! (4)
Mark Antonation

"This Cherry Creek Sushi Bar Offers Hard-to-Find Handmade Soba"

Reader: No Departure? This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, Denver! (2)EXPAND
Mark Antonation

"Departure Closes in Cherry Creek After Sale of Halcyon Hotel"

While Departure is gone, Quality Italian, which opened along with the Halcyon Hotel at 245 Columbine Street, is still doing big business.

But while Quality Italian's classic decor and instantly familiar menu were hits from the beginning, Departure's futuristic dining room and globe-trotting menu from Portland chef Gregory Gourdet made the restaurant a little more challenging for diners. Still, the place had its fans — us included, since Departure's Southeast Asian offerings frequently appeared on our lists of the best dishes in Denver.

What did you think of Departure? How about Quality Italian? Do you still go to Cherry Creek to eat? Post a comment, or send your thoughts to cafe@westword.com.

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