Openings and Closings

Restaurant Roll Call: Openings and Closings in May 2020

Make room on your kitchen table for new beers and food from Spice Trade.
Make room on your kitchen table for new beers and food from Spice Trade. Mark Antonation
Restaurants and bars were given the go-ahead by Governor Jared Polis to begin reopening on May 27, provided that they serve food, don't go over 50 percent capacity and follow several other health and safety rules. Many opened right away, or started welcoming guests over the past few days. But it will still be a while before we know which restaurants are just slow to return to business and which will never make a comeback. (In the meantime, we've compiled lists of restaurants that have already reopened for on-premises dining in Denver and Boulder.)

Over the past thirty days, a few new places have decided to hang up their shingles, while others have definitely called it quits. Spice Trade Brewery & Kitchen began offering food and beer to go in May and will open in-house dining at 50 percent capacity beginning Friday, June 5. Several new breweries also opened in May (or earlier), though most are currently only doing takeout sales of Crowlers, growlers and cans.

In Aurora, a cute little dumpling shop called Seoul ManDoo began serving takeout Korean dumplings before opening its dining room on May 28. You can still order takeout by calling 303-953-9590 (or use the same number to reserve a table, since seating is extremely limited). The restaurant's tight menu comprises fried or steamed Seoul dumplings (similar to potstickers) with meat or kimchi fillings, and wang dumplings, which are bigger and fluffier and come with either ground meat, kimchi or galbi (barbecue beef rib). For an eat-later option, frozen dumplings — all handmade — are also available in packs of 25.

We lost a few great restaurants in May, too, including 12@Madison and Biju's Little Curry Shop, both of which landed on our lists of the ten best new restaurants the year they opened, and also made it into our "Eat Here" list of 100 restaurants we can't live without — so now we're left trying to live without them. Another Eat Here entry, Fish N Beer, has been converted by owner Kevin Morrison to Burro Rito, even though good burritos are much easier to come by in Denver than is quality seafood.

Here are May's new openings and permanent closings:

Restaurants and Bars Opening in May*
Barrels & Bottles Brewery, 1055 Orchard Street, Golden
Burro Rito, 3510 Larimer Street
Cajun Haus, 1225 South Federal Boulevard
Chicken Kitchen (delivery-only from Choice Market), 1770 Broadway
The Flavor Dojo (at Rioja), 1431 Larimer Street
Lady Justice Brewing, 9735 East Colfax Avenue, Aurora
Nest Cafe + Bar, 2949 Federal Boulevard
Seoul ManDoo, 2222 South Havana Street, Aurora
Ska Street Brewstillery, 1600 38th Street, Boulder
Spice Trade Brewery & Kitchen, 8775 East Orchard Road, Greenwood Village
Wild Provisions Beer Project, 2209 Central Avenue, Boulder

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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation