Openings and Closings

Govinda's Garden Vegan Cafe to Close at Radha Krishna Temple at the End of April

The current owners of Govinda's will close the restaurant on April 29.
The current owners of Govinda's will close the restaurant on April 29. Courtesy of Govinda's
Dedicated vegan kitchens are a rarity in Denver, so many diners were delighted when Nandini and Carlos Rossi took over the cafe at the Radha Krishna Temple at 1400 Cherry Street several years ago and turned it into a buffet called Govinda's Garden Vegan Cafe.

The temple had operated a restaurant off and on for years, but under the Rossis, Govinda's become a welcoming and nourishing spot for neighbors as well as plant-based eaters across Denver. But Nandini just announced that they'll be closing Govinda's on April 29 and returning management of the restaurant to the temple.

Here's the letter Nandini sent to her regular customers via e-mail and Facebook:

Dear friends and customers,

It is with a heavy heart that we are writing this communication to all of you. You all are very dear to us and we have developed wonderful personal relationships, friendships and connections with you. It has been our deepest satisfaction getting to know so many and to serve you over the past years.

The Temple had informed us that they want to take over the management and running of the restaurant awhile back. This was unsettling to us and we were hopeful in our numerous meetings and discussions with the temple management that things might change, but this was not to be. So, the sad news; my husband Carlos and I will be closing our Govinda's Garden Vegan Café as of April, Saturday the 29th and as of that date we no longer be serving our healthy vegan buffet to you all, as we have for the past three and half years. We are so sorry.

At this point we do not have any information about what the temple plans are. When they plan to open? How many days and hours? We do not feel they plan to continue to be a 100% vegan buffet. We hope that they provide us with this information so that we can pass it on to you all before our departure. Our prayer is that the temple continues to run their buffet successfully that it remains the special place.

As the saying goes, "that which appears to be the end, may only be the beginning". Our favorite spiritual songwriter George Harrison sang in his first solo album: "All Things Must Pass". We see the signs and humbly accept the plan of our Sweet Lord.

My husband and I will be taking some time for rejuvenation and healing and to take care of some personal things. When the time is right, we plan to open a vegan catering business... a cookbook book, perhaps with all the Govinda's Garden Vegan recipes you love so much. We will be dividing our time between Denver and Dallas, so we are still looking forward to seeing many of you in the future.

We will have our last event on Saturday, April 22, Earth Day. A combination of a farewell and celebration for Mother Earth. We will post about this happening soon.

We hope we can see you and give you a big hug perhaps on our Earth Day Finale Celebration, before our departure, and look so forward to seeing and serving you all in this our final month.

In closing, we want to thank you all so much for your support, encouragement, appreciation and yes, love.

Many blessings and best wishes for you all.
With gratitude
Your friends and servants
Nandini and Carlos Rossi

PS: On a side note: The temple does not wish to [buy] the beautiful mystical art that so many of you have asked to purchase. We will post with the price we paid for each art piece and also post under each piece in the cafe.

We spoke with Nandini, who says she's uncertain how the temple will proceed or when the restaurant will reopen. (Our call to the Radha Krishna Temple was not returned.)  But it will be closed for at least ten days after April 29, she explains, as it will take that long to move out after she and her husband serve their last buffet.

In the meantime, watch for news about the couple's traditional Earth Day celebration on April 22 on Govinda's Facebook page.

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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation