Morton's has pulled up stakes...and steaks...in Denver. The location at 1745 Wazee Street, which shuttered on March 17 along with the rest of the city's restaurants, has closed permanently.
The steakhouse chain, which started out in 1978 in the Windy City as Morton's of Chicago, had a long run in Denver...and was a favorite with several Westword writers, including Kyle Wagner (despite a staff that was "often snooty, especially to female customers," she wrote) and a crew that carved a large block of cheese on display at a media party into a bust of then-Rocky Mountain News columnist Bill Husted. That was at the first Morton's in Denver, which occupied an elegant, subterranean space in the Tivoli, the historic brewery on the Auraria campus. When that building was turned into a student union in the early ’90s, Morton's moved to 1710 Wynkoop Street. That location snagged our Best Steakhouse award in the Best of Denver 2003.
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Along the way, Morton's added a location in the Denver Tech Center; that restaurant closed its doors in 2012, right after Landry’s Inc. honcho Tilman Fertitta acquired the entire chain.
In 2017, Morton's moved two blocks away, to the corner of 18th and Wazee streets, into the space that had been occupied by a Sullivan's steakhouse. But by then, Denver's restaurant scene was booming, and the old-school steakhouse was struggling even before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
This is not the only Morton's meat palace to meet its maker recently; locations in Indianapolis, New Orleans and Richmond, Virginia, have also shuttered.