The phone kicks callers over to a cheery-voiced hostess talking about the hours of operation and the happy-hour specials, but take a cruise by the website and the news is very plain, typed out in black against a plain background.
"mark & isabella has closed its doors"
That's all there is. No links. No explanations. No nothing. Just that simple message.
I'm never happy to see any restaurant close unless it's part of a massive, soul-sucking corporate chain or some fast-food outlet whose space is immediately snatched up by some crazy noodle-maker or junior empanada king. But while I am not generally one for schadenfreude, this news about Mark & Isabella brought hearing the news about Mark & Isabella brought, if nothing else, a little bit of closure.
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It was a terrible restaurant. The food was some of the worst I've had since coming to Denver. The laziness and lack of care on display was simply stunning. Worst of all, it was bringing down the reputation of a good chef (Mark Tarbell) with other good restaurants to his credit.
So while I wasn't happy to see those plain letters on the Mark & Isabella homepage, and I don't flatter myself to think that my one opinion had anything to do with the decision to close this disaster of an operation, I was comforted that the end had finally come. Denver deserved better, and there was really nothing that could've been done to save the place, short of a complete reboot.
And now, maybe that's what we'll get.