The story this month is not the volume of openings (which was definitely high), but the number of big-name closings throughout Denver, including three breweries, a sector that once seemed immune to the economic forces that govern other food and drink establishments.
But then again, nobody's really safe in the hospitality industry, not even seasoned veterans and seemingly stable national chains. Mila, which restaurateur Kevin Taylor opened last September on the ground floor of the downtown Denver Place, is now closed. Taylor is no stranger to the cycle of openings and closings; over the past few years, he's also expanded beyond his typical downtown domain with Masa Cocina Mexican and Hickory & Ash in Broomfield's Arista development.
In LoHi, Marcella's shuttered after less than two years. According to parent company Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, the Ohio-based group that also runs two Ocean Prime locations, (downtown and in the Denver Tech Center), the Italian eatery just wasn't performing up to corporate standards. McCormick's & Schmick's Seafood & Steaks closed in the Denver Tech Center (the location in the Oxford Hotel dried up two years ago). In Greenwood Village, Brett Shaheen's delightful eatery The Wooden Table (one of the best restaurants in all of Denver's suburbs), closed without notice, following the departure of the chef's other restaurant, Brodo, earlier this spring from Belmar. Other longtime favorites Interstate Kitchen & Bar, 1515 Restaurant and Purple Door Coffee also closed in May.
But still, chefs and restaurateurs keep bringing us new ideas and great food. Bacon Social House opened its second metro eatery in Littleton, right across the street from the Littleton Municipal Courthouse. Brisket boss Karl Fallenius finally launched Owlbear Barbecue in RiNo after many travails, and tattoo artist John Slaughter welcomed guests to Pistol Whip on Santa Fe Drive.
Here's our complete list of restaurant and bar openings and closings for May 2019:
Restaurants and Bars Opening in May*
Anise, 865 Lincoln Street
Bacon Social House, 2100 West Littleton Boulevard, Littleton
Bean Fosters, 9956 West Remington Place, Littleton
Besties Ice Cream, 1559 South Broadway
BØH, 1801 Blake Street
The Buffalo Rose, 1119 Washington Avenue, Golden
Cherish Spirits Lounge, 221 Detroit Street
Culture Meat & Cheese (inside Pearl Wine Company), 1886 South Pearl Street
Taqueria El Grillo, 410 South Federal Boulevard
Farmhouse Thai Eatery, 98 Wadsworth Boulevard, Lakewood
Freddy's Frozen Custard, 6240 Leetsdale Drive
Gaku Ramen, 1119 13th Street, Boulder
Huevos Tacos, 2160 South Broadway
Kattapas Kitchen, 6590 West 120th Avenue, Broomfield
Kisbee on the Roof (atop the Jacquard Hotel), 222 Milwaukee Street
Ku Cha House of Tea, 2445 East Third Avenue
The Local Butcher, 2242 Oneida Street
MiddleState Coffee, 212 Santa Fe Drive
Otero Taproom, 525 Santa Fe Drive
Owlbear Barbecue, 2826 Larimer Street
Pistol Whip, 698 Santa Fe Drive
Run for the Roses, 1801 Blake Street
Snarf's Sandwiches, 2527 Federal Boulevard
Snooze, 14345 Orchard Parkway, Westminster
So Radish, 5711 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada
Sushi-Rama Fitzsimons, 13650 East Colfax Avenue, Aurora
Tatsu Izakaya, 2022 South University Boulevard
Urban Beets, 5616 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada
Restaurants Temporarily Closing in May*
The Empire Lounge & Restaurant (ownership change), 816 Main Street, Louisville
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Restaurants and Bars Closing in May*
38 State Brewing Company, 8071 South Broadway, Littleton
1515 Restaurant, 1515 Market Street
Brodo Italian Scratch Kitchen, 7167 West Alaska Drive, Lakewood
Crepes 'n Crepes, 3000 Zuni Street and 1512 Larimer Street
Fate Brewing Company, 1600 38th Street, Boulder
Interstate Kitchen & Bar, 1001 Santa Fe Drive
Ironworks Brewery and Pub, 12354 West Alameda Parkway, Lakewood
Marcella's, 1801 Central Street
McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant, 8100 East Union Avenue
Mila, 999 18th Street
Purple Door Coffee, 2962 Welton Street
The Soul Kitchen, 14107 East Colfax Avenue, Aurora, and 98 Wadsworth Boulevard, Lakewood
Under the Umbrella Bakery & Cafe (Congress Park location remains open), 300 Elati Street
Wooden Table, 2500 East Orchard Boulevard, Greenwood Village
*Or earlier, and not previously reported.
Have you spotted any openings or closings that aren't on our list? Let us know in the comments, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.