Cafe Society

Mouthing Off

Here's a good New Year's resolution for public-relations people: Stop sending so much junk mail along with press releases. Every two weeks I recycle at least forty pounds (that's not an exaggeration, because I can barely carry it out to the curb) of paper, the majority of which is excess garbage from publicity firms, sent along with what turns out to be three lines of useful information. What should be clueing these people in is the latest trend in PR, that of highlighting areas of the press kits. It would be one thing if the highlighted areas (sometimes done with an actual highlighting marker, sometimes professionally done on the printer) were key details, such as facts about where the restaurant is, when it opens and its address--but, no, the highlighted areas are always things such as "Owner Mr. Johnson thinks this will be the best restaurant on the face of the planet." I look at highlighted press releases this way: If the lines that are highlighted are not journalistically useful, then the whole thing goes to the curb. (By the way, so does anything received after my deadline for this column--two weeks before the publication date.)

Open-and-shut cases: I received eleven press releases before Mile High Brewing Company opened but nary a whisper from them when they shut their doors a few weeks ago. Word is they're still looking for a buyer, which is when I'll probably hear from them again. What caused the publicly owned microbrewery's demise? Mediocre beer--Timberline Ale--in a local market that has quite a few really good ones. And I guess just about everyone's heard that the Mall Exchange, at 1585 Lawrence, held its last happy hour. Yet another chain restaurant, Willy G's, will take its place. And Jitters, which at 1523 18th Street had developed a strong following from Westword staffers, obviously was running on empty, since the sign on the locked door said they weren't paying their taxes.

Parker coffeeheads can rejoice that The Java Cup, at 19559 Mainstreet, hasn't closed; instead, it's been purchased by what would seem to be the perfectly named person: Thomas Grinder. Same cozy atmosphere, same good joe. And just in time for Christmas, another restaurant-poor area, Glendale, got the gift of Maverick's Mesquite Grill at 4851 East Virginia, the space that formerly housed St. Petersburg. Maverick's is a steakhouse/sports bar, with a "cowboy/athlete" theme and what they're calling "manly" cuts of mesquite-grilled beef.

A lot of meat may be coming to a neighborhood near you, since Rodizio Grill plans to expand. These guys were upset over my review ("Bye, Bye, Brazil," October 24) and have since been asking customers to mail their comment cards to me. In the margins, people have been writing little things such as "How can you have had such a bad experience when we're full all the time?" Hey, so's my local McDonald's. Anyway, in their continuing effort to be "international," Rodizio will open on East Arapahoe Road in January and at the Ice House, at 1801 Wynkoop Street, in March (the original Rodizio is at 7900 West Quincy Avenue in Littleton). The Ice House location has the potential to be very successful, since the restaurant is cheap and people will be drunk on their way out of games. I only hope the great Ice House architecture will help this Rodizio look less like a college-dorm cafeteria.


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Kyle Wagner
Contact: Kyle Wagner