The situation has been serious for the restaurant industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only have restaurant owners and employees taken on the task of being gatekeepers of the health and safety of those choosing to dine out, but they've had to tackle the enforcement of social distancing and mask wearing among those who don't take the potentially deadly disease seriously. But despite diminished revenue and increased expenses (all that PPE for employees costs money), chefs and restaurateurs are showing remarkable creativity and resiliency in adapting to the ever-changing situation and regulations.
And a surprising number of new businesses have cropped up over the past few weeks, many taking over restaurant spaces that have been vacant since before the pandemic began. Crave Mediterranean Grill, for example, now occupies the spot where Carve Barbecue closed three years ago (apparently flip-flopping the R and the A in the name for an easy changeover). In Englewood, the Juicy Burgers & Dogs location boarded up since last fall just reopened as Hong Kong Station, a new eatery from the family who previously owned Hong Kong Cafe at 10890 East Dartmouth Avenue.
In Broomfield, Cesar and Valerie Beltran, the owners of Beltran's Meat Market in Northglenn, have opened Beltran's Grill, a full-service restaurant with a much bigger menu than at the market's tiny taqueria and a bar serving a wide range of mezcal, tequila and sotol. And a little farther north in Erie, the team behind Lafayette's Community now has a second restaurant called Birdhouse, offering an unusual menu of ramen and tacos from chef Chris Teigland. In Aurora, Shoyu Sushi is true to its name, making its own soy sauce (shoyu in Japanese) from scratch — a rarity that makes this strip-mall sushi bar worth a visit.
Expanded patios and good weather have kept attendance high at restaurants around town, but things could change once we hit the colder months. For now, at least, closings have been relatively few. In August, we said goodbye to Leña, the Gallop Cafe, Rory's Tavern, the Rialto Cafe and Uncle Joe's Hong Kong Bistro, to name a few.
Here's our complete list of restaurant and bar openings and closings in August 2020. We've included what was previously in the new locations wherever possible.
Restaurants and Bars Opening in August*
3 Kilts Tavern (formerly Back East Bar & Grill), 1600 Champa Street
Alpha Charlie's Tap & Tavern (formerly Maggie Smith's), 6631 South Peoria Street, Centennial
Beau Thai (formerly Prosit Fine Beers & Sausages), 3464 West 32nd Avenue
Beltran's Grill, 16818 Sheridan Parkway, Broomfield
Birdhouse, 526 Briggs Street, Erie
Cava, Multiple locations
Charm Thai (formerly Mooyah Burgers), 14648 Delaware Street, Arvada
Choice Market (formerly Grand China) , 2200 East Colfax Avenue
Crave Mediterranean Grill (formerly Carve Barbecue), 1000 South Colorado Boulevard
The Doughnut Club (formerly Peteybird), 3040 Blake Street
Etc. Eatery (formerly Palizo Italiano), 1472 South Pearl Street
F. Uzzio's Sangweeches (at Marco's Coal Fired), 2129 Larimer Street
The Fifth String (formerly Old Major), 3316 Tejon Street
Gelato Boy, 4044 East Eighth Place
Hey Bangkok (formerly Swing Thai), 301 South Pennsylvania Street
Hong Kong Station (formerly Juicy Burgers & Dogs), 4878 South Yosemite Street, Englewood
Jamaican Jerk & Barbecue Restaurant (formerly Trina's Place), 4611 Peoria Street, Aurora
Jinya Ramen Bar (formerly Morton's Steakhouse), 1720 Wynkoop Street
Kickin Chicken, 275 South Union Boulevard, Lakewood
Lakeside Pho (formerly Tacos Tijuana), 4348 Sheridan Boulevard
Lucky Noodles (formerly Triple Tree Cafe), 1201 East Colfax Avenue
Mazatleco Mariscos (formerly Tacos y Salsas), 910 South Federal Boulevard
Mimosas (formerly Kuni Sushi), 2752 Welton Street
Mondo's Pizza (formerly Creperie Montmartre), 3751 Tower Road, Aurora
Pablito's Burritos (in the parking lot of Abrusci's), 2200 Youngfield Street, Lakewood
Peyote Mexican Restaurant (formerly Mariscos Mr. Lucky's and T-Wa Inn), 555 South Federal Boulevard
Pizzeria Locale, 895 Albion Street
Ponsawan Thai Cuisine, 16566 Washington Street, Thornton
Qi-Lin (formerly Sazza), 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
Rising Sun Distillery, 1121 Dillon Dam Road, Frisco
Roots, 1200 Miramonte Street, Broomfield
Saucy Chix (at Morning Story), 560 South Holly Street and 8025 Sheridan Boulevard
Sexy Pizza, 2846 Fairfax Street
Shoyu Sushi, 3571 South Tower Road, Aurora
Sugar Shack Dessert Co. (at Flying Pig Burger Co.), 5935 South Zang Street, Littleton
The Taco Connection, 3550 West 38th Avenue
Trap Tea (formerly Happy Tea), 2790 South Havana Street, Aurora
Vin Rouge Wine Bar & Tasting Room, 4412 Yates Street
Wake & Bake (formerly Winchell's Donut House), 1301 South Broadway
Whirlybird Ice Cream & Waffles, 2851 West 25th Avenue
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Restaurants Moving in August
Hungry Wolf BBQ, 2710 South Havana Street, Aurora
Restaurants and Bars Closing in August*
Daily Grill, 1607 Wewatta Street
Gallop Cafe, 2401 West 32nd Avenue
Jason's Deli, 702 16th Street
Leña, 24 Broadway
Pour House Pub, 1435 Market Street
Public School 303, 1959 16th Street
Rialto Cafe, 934 16th Street
Rory's Tavern, 404 Broadway
Tony Roma’s, 1480 Arapahoe Street
Tahona Tequila Bistro, 1035 Pearl Street, Boulder
Uncle Joe's Hong Kong Bistro, 891 14th Street
Village Tavern, 1 West Flatiron Crossing Drive, Broomfield
*Or earlier, and not previously reported.
Do you know of any openings or closings that aren't on our list? Let us know in the comments, or send an email to email@example.com. And see our full list of restaurants open for dine-in, takeout or delivery in our Denver Restaurant Directory.