Openings and Closings

Every Restaurant Opening and Closing This Week, August 20-26

Bodega Denver is now open in Sunnyside.
Bodega Denver is now open in Sunnyside. Bodega Denver
"I want this to be a place where Northsiders can come in and be stoked. Like, 'This is our neighborhood, not just someone coming in and changing it,'" Cliff Blauvelt told Westword ahead of the opening of his "sandwich forward" eatery, Bodega Denver. The restaurant debuted this week with a limited opening menu and decor that includes a mural by local artist Jolt, who was born and raised on the Northside and went on to found the Guerilla Garden street-art enterprise.

Boulder Social is also now open in the former Ska Street Brewstillery location. It's owned and operated by Frank Day, who has been on the local hospitality scene for decades, beginning in 1976 when he opened the first Old Chicago location in Boulder. His latest venture is set for a grand-opening celebration on September 15.

Next Level Burger, which has a 100 percent plant-based menu, debuted its first Colorado location across the street from the first-ever Chipotle location and next door to an outpost of local fried chicken sandwich chain Birdcall. Check our first look to learn more about the concept and the owners' Denver connection.
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Mr. Oso opened its Wash Park location on August 20.
Mr. Oso Wash Park
The Culinary Creative group continues to expand its Mr. Oso brand. Its first location debuted in RiNo in 2019 and in July, it added a fast-casual outpost called Osito at Arvada's Freedom Street Social food hall. Mr. Oso Wash Park opened this past week; it's serving a lineup of Latin-inspired cuisine for happy hour and dinner.

And Nana's Cocina is now serving New Mexican cuisine in a West 38th Avenue food court that is also home to Aladdin Mediterranean Grill.

There's just one closing to report, although it might be more of a hibernation.  After opening in May 2021, Denver's first sober bar, Awake, has shuttered its location on Clay Street, but the concept may not be gone for good. As Billy Wynne, who co-owns Awake with his, wife Christy, told Westword, "There was kind of a wide range of issues and combination of things that led us to think this is a good time to take a step back and take a breath. We want to see, for one thing, if some other folks can come to the table and help us out so we can discover the best next steps." The couple hopes to come back with an even bigger and better bar next year.

In other restaurant news:
Here's the complete list of restaurants and bars opening and closing this week:
The Ghost Pepper Popper Burger at Next Level.
Molly Martin

Restaurants and bars opening this week:*

Bodega Denver, 2651 West 38th Avenue
Boulder Social, 1600 38th Avenue, Boulder
Free Cafe, 2122 South Lafayette Street
Mr. Oso, 103 Ogden Street
Nana's Cocina, 3550 West 38th Avenue
Next Level Burger, 1605 East Evans Avenue

Restaurants and bars closing this week:*

Awake, 2240 Clay 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