An affordable French restaurant? Mais oui. Le Central charmed Denver from the moment that Robert Tournier opened his restaurant at Eighth and Lincoln — and for the next 34 years, Le Central stayed true to its goal of serving good, inexpensive French fare in surroundings as accessible as its price point. But now the 65-year-old Tournier has decided to close Le Central.
Sad farewells are already appearing on Le Central's Facebook page, where one fan posted a photo of her wedding reception at the restaurant, saying, "We love you! Thank you for all of the memories. We have had so many wonderful meals here."
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In an e-mail to regulars, Tournier puts the sad last day as September 13, but warns that "we may decide to close earlier" — so there's not a moment to waste if you want to stop in for one last bowl of moules and frites, and to bid Tournier and his crew adieu. Here's that e-mail:
It has been a great opportunity and pleasure to serve Denver for 34 years. I want to thank you for your patronage. To raise a loving family and run a successful restaurant in Colorado was a rare privilege. I realize how lucky I am. I took the chance to open a French restaurant, with no business plan, serving affordable food and wines on Salvation Army chairs, with friendly non-professional service, no dress code, reservation or credit card, and you loved it.
I am very grateful; I could not have done it without an incredible staff and your willingness to try something different. I am glad to be part of your (mostly) good memories, and to have been the stage of so many dates and celebrations
Being 65 and a grandfather with 40+ years in the restaurant business (1 restaurateur year = 3 human years) it is time to stop, the 13 of September should be the last day but keep in touch, we may decide to close earlier.
Et merci a vous, Le Central.