There's been a recent uptick in news about eateries closing. In the last week of July alone, we reported on four staples
that had already shuttered and two more coming soon: Tables in Park Hill
, which will close August 6, and the Saucy Noodle in Bonnie Brae
, which will serve its last plate of pasta on August 14.
But by the numbers, Denver's food scene is continuing to grow; in July, we counted 21 additions that more than offset the eleven closures for the month. Even with the industry facing staffing shortages and rising costs because of inflation (and MIA pizza boxes, thanks to pirates in China
), creative entrepreneurs are still opting to get into the restaurant and bar business — sometimes with creative approaches.
Such is the case at Hell or High Water
, a gay pirate ship-themed tiki bar that opened in July in the mezzanine space above Fuel & Iron
, the Pueblo-inspired bar that debuted in April. The small space is packed with eye-catching details created by the team behind the equally eclectic Electric Cure in Edgewater. Owners Lexi Healy and Veronica Ramos worked as bartenders in Denver for years before striking out on their own.
Brothers Angel and Moses Juarez, two brothers who worked together at George's Cafe in Arvada for 23 years, have become owners, too. Last month, they opened Two Brothers Cafe in a space with a long diner legacy — for decades, it was home to Breakfast Queen, then Nick's Diner. Last year, it reopened as Nelly's Kitchen, but that business shuttered in May after only eight months. But now the brothers have turned the burners back on and are cooking a menu created through their years of diner expertise.
bb.q Chicken is a new Korean barbecue franchise expanding quickly in the Denver area.
Nine of July's openings were outside city limits, a trend that continues to grow as property and rent prices in Denver proper make it hard for new businesses to afford opening in the city. Among the new additions in the suburbs are Freedom Street Social, Arvada's first food hall
, as well as Mono GoGo in Lakewood, a fast-casual offshoot of Korean fried chicken concept Mono Mono from local restaurateur JW Lee. Also serving Korean fried chicken: bb.q Chicken, which continued to expand its footprint
with a third outpost in Capitol Hill; another is set to open in Littleton this year as well.
But while the openings far outnumbered the closings last month, the loss of longtime staples is a reminder of how quickly Denver is changing these days. Not even chains are immune, as both the Perkins on South Colorado Boulevard and the Chili's on the 16th Street Mall went dark in July.
Here's the complete list of restaurants and bars opening and closing last month:
Restaurants and bars that opened in July:*
Diners have eight options at Freedom Street Social.
, 1360 Grant Street
Boombox Brew Bar
, 5686 Pecos Street
Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop
, 7939 East Arapahoe Road, Greenwood Village
Cheese Meat Board
, 2054 Broadway
El Rey de la Mesa
, 2200 California Street
Freedom Street Social
, 15177 Candelas Parkway, Arvada
Hell or High Water
, 1526 Blake Street
, 400 Corona Street
Little Man Ice Cream
, 3455 South University Boulevard, Englewood
Menya Ramen at Grange Hall
, 6575 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard, Greenwood Village
, 405 Main Street, Lyons
, 450 South Teller Street, Lakewood
NBX Asian Cuisine, 9064 Forsstrom Drive, Lone Tree
, 730 South University Boulevard
, 8181 East Arapahoe Road, Greenwood Village
Tea N Mi
, 2058 South University Boulevard
TJ Street Tacos
, 7585 East Iliff Avenue
Two Brothers Cafe, 3743 Federal Boulevard
, 6830 South Yosemite Street, Centennial
Yomie's Rice x Yogurt
, 1350 South Colorado Boulevard
Zane's Italian Bistro
, 3535 South Yosemite Street (moved from its previous location)
Restaurants and bars that closed in July:*
The Perkins on Colorado Boulevard closed on July 25.
Ballpark Vienna Beef, 1312 21st Street
Chili's Bar & Grill, 951 16th Street Mall
Devour the 303, 1135 East Evans Avenue
Basic Kneads, 17525 South Golden Road, Golden
Jessie's Smokin' NOLA, 7422 South University Boulevard, Centennial
Mas Kaos, 4526 Tennyson Street
Moods. Beats. Potions., 2844 Welton Street
Park Tavern, 931 East 11th Avenue
Perkins, 1995 South Colorado Boulevard
Pharaoh's Lounge, 333 Broadway
Sexy Pizza, 1018 East 11th Avenue (operating as a ghost kitchen while looking for a new location)
*Or earlier and not previously reported.
Know of something we missed? Email [email protected].