Looking for a cozy spot for dinner tonight? Highland's Garden Cafe had one of our favorite dining-room fireplaces -- but when that restaurant closed for the season, it closed for good: Chef/owner Pat Perry sold the spot. Chef Mark Ferguson, a native of Denver who's been cooking in Vail, and his wife, Andrea, "will be taking on their newest endeavor in the spring of 2014. Renovating the historic Highland's Garden Café on West 32nd Avenue in Denver Colorado and turning the restaurant into the new Solitaire, something that is extraordinary and unexpected," the Solitaire website reports. "A Diversified Eatery that will entice any well known 'foodie' out there."
Let's hope that renovation doesn't remove the fireplace.
See also: Denver's five best fireplace restaurants
In the meantime, Highlands Garden Cafe is knocked off the list of five best fireplace restaurants that we compiled on a cold, cold December day two years ago. But the other four should be hot today, and we have a worthy replacement for the fifth, just down the street from the former Highlands Garden on West 32nd Avenue.
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The Matador opened two weeks ago, just in time for this cold snap. And take a look at the fireplace that's right by the bar:There's been some debate over whether this part of northwest Denver needs another quasi-Mexican restaurant -- but there's no question that Denver diners can use seating like this today.