"We've been looking for a perfect location to open a new Argyll for a long time -- almost two years -- and we've walked away from some good deals but not deals that we're good enough, until we found this one," says Thompson, who signed the lease earlier today.
The original Argyll, says Thompson, who spent several years outside of the industry, was "my reintroduction back into the Denver restaurant scene, so it's really special to me, and it catapulted my company so that I could work on the new concepts I'm working on today," he adds. "I opened it during a recession, I put all the capital I had left into making it work, not to mention my blood, sweat and tears, but ultimately, it just wasn't the right location."
For one thing, Argyll squatted in a relatively small, subterranean space that didn't have a visible street presence, but there were other factors, too, that convinced him to shutter it. "We were in a basement, we didn't have a meaningful bar where people could wait for a table, and people in Cherry Creek tend to stop eating and drinking once the clock hits 9 p.m.," explains Thompson. More important, he stresses, was the fact that Argyll simply didn't have the space to handle the crowds at peak hours. "On Friday and Saturday nights, we'd have as many people on the wait list as there were people dining, and if you don't have the space to accommodate those people, then you're going to lose business," he notes.
The Las Margaritas plot, on the other hand, is 5,000 square feet and sits squarely on a corner that sees a heavy flow of foot traffic. Plus, it's in a neighborhood that swells with a younger demographic -- a demographic that doesn't subscribe to a 10 p.m. bedtime ritual. "The key word in gastropub is fucking 'pub,'" quips Thompson, and Argyll Whisky Beer, which will pour libations until 2 a.m. on the weekends, will undoubtedly encounter a thump of late-night revelers -- at least that's what Thompson is betting on. "I think locals will treat us as their local bar, and a huge part of a gastropub is the drinking element, and unlike in Cherry Creek, this is a neighborhood where people like to be at a bar at 2 a.m," says Thompson. "It's in a location that makes a lot more sense than Cherry Creek."