Openings and Closings

Restaurant Roll Call: Every Opening and Closing in June 2022

Annie's Cafe is one of the many restaurants that closed in June.
Annie's Cafe is one of the many restaurants that closed in June. Molly Martin
As we hit the halfway mark of 2022, the pressure of staffing shortages and rising costs for everything from rent to produce to takeaway containers continues take its toll on local, independently owned restaurants — particularly older ones. The nine closures this month include four spots that were open for decades, including the longest continually operating family-owned restaurant in Denver, Bonnie Brae Tavern.

Other longtime spots, like the Bucksnort Saloon outside Pine and El Rancho in Evergreen, have closed before and made comebacks under new ownership, but there's no sign of yet another resurrection at those two mountain landmarks. Annie's Cafe will soon be an Indian eatery. A "For Lease" sign hangs at the Copper Pot on South Broadway. And Bonnie Brae's building will be torn down and replaced with a three-story apartment complex.

Denver is changing. That's an inevitable reality (and a reminder to visit the classic spots you love, often — start with these twenty diners if you need some inspiration). But even as the closures mount, new spots continue to open in greater numbers than those we've lost: We reported on seventeen openings last month alone, and have tallied a total of 118 so far already this year. By comparison, we counted 260 new bars and restaurants in all of 2021, and the dining scene is on pace to match that this year.
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Duke’s Good Sandwiches is now open in Five Points.
Kristin Pazulski
Some of these new spots are from expanding, out-of-state chains, such as Bonchon, Torchy's Tacos and P.F. Chang's. But many more are independently owned. There are places like Duke's Good Sandwiches and its sister concept, Scratch Bakery and Market, from first-time restaurant owners. Ephemeral Taproom is a unique concept aimed at bringing in breweries from outside the Denver area for guest tap takeovers on a rotating basis — a new approach in a town that's been doing beer for a long, long time.

Some additions, like Bellota's Boulder outpost, speak to the resiliency of those who fought through the pandemic. After seven years at the Source, Bryan Dayton, founder of Half Eaten Cookie Hospitality (which also operates Corrida and Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder), announced the closure of Acorn in September 2020, citing the pandemic as the reason for the decision to end the run of one of Denver's top eateries. But just seven weeks later, the team reopened the space as Mexican concept Bellota under chef Manny Barella, who was named a semi-finalist in the Emerging Chef category at this year's James Beard Awards. Bellota's expansion to Boulder is an optimistic sign that some of those pandemic pivots (as tired as we are of that term) have paid off.

Here's the full list of restaurants and bars that opened and closed in June:
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A "For Lease" sign hangs on the Copper Pot's South Broadway location on June 23.
Molly Martin
Restaurants and bars that opened in June 2022:*

Boba Blast, 1559 South Broadway
Bonchon, 3970 Buchtel Boulevard
Bellota, 4580 Broadway, Boulder
Duke's Good Sandwiches/Scratch Bakery and Market, 2748 Welton Street
Eiskaffee, 1112 Broadway
Enso Sushi & Grill, 8000 East Belleview Avenue
Ephemeral Rotating Taproom, 2301 East 28th Avenue
Hwaro Sushi, 2000 16th Street
Kwench Shave Ice and Soda Bar, 23975 East Town Square Avenue, Aurora
Mama Lolita's
, 8181 Arista Place, Broomfield
McDevitt Taco Supply, 3560 Brighton Boulevard
P.F. Chang's To-Go, 400 Colorado Boulevard
Point Easy, 2000 East 28th Avenue
Rewild, 2949 Federal Boulevard
Stone Cellar Bistro, 7605 Grandview Avenue, Arvada
Teachers' Lounge, 1250 Welton Street
Torchy’s Tacos, 63 North Quebec Street

Restaurants and bars that closed in June 2022:*

Annie’s Cafe, 3100 East Colfax Avenue
Asbury Provisions, 2043 South University Boulevard
Bonnie Brae Tavern, 740 South University Boulevard
Bucksnort Saloon, 15921 Elk Creek Road, Sphinx Park/Pine
Copper Pot, 2976 South Broadway, Englewood
El Rancho, 29260 U.S. 40, Evergreen
Etc. Eatery, 1472 South Pearl Street
LoHi SteakBar, 3200 Tejon Street
Oak Market, 233 Clayton Street

*Or earlier and not previously reported.

Know of something we missed? Email [email protected].
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Molly Martin is the Westword Food & Drink editor. She’s been writing about the dining scene in Denver since 2013, and was eating her way around the city long before that. She enjoys long walks to the nearest burrito joint and nights spent sipping cocktails on Colfax.
Contact: Molly Martin