It's been a rough start to 2022 for the Denver dining scene. While this week's list is a short one, it includes some hard losses and no new openings.
The December 30 fires in Boulder County caused massive devastation. Among the over 1,000 homes that burned in the blaze was that of Wayne and Sam Shelnutt, owners of Wayne's Smoke Shack in Superior, which itself was heavily damaged. It could take up to eighteen months of repairs before the barbecue joint can reopen. In the meantime, the Shelnutts are expecting a baby in March and trying to rebuild their lives; a GoFundMe has been set up to help the couple with the many expenses they'll face in the coming months. Another Superior eatery, Misaki, was also damaged.
In Louisville, the second location of the Rotary, which had opened just two weeks before the blaze, was completely destroyed. The original location in Denver's Hilltop neighborhood remains open, and the owners are focused on finding a new spot for another Louisville outpost.
In Denver, the diner scene — which already saw big losses over the past two years with the closure of Tom's Diner, Denver Diner and the 20th Street Cafe — took another big hit when Breakfast King on Santa Fe closed its doors on January 3 after over 45 years in business. Rumors are swirling that another longtime go-to farther north on Santa Fe, Swift's Breakfast House, has shuttered, too; a sign on the door only notes that it is "closed today." Whatever the outcome, this weekend is the perfect time to visit one of Denver's remaining diners for a chicken-fried steak fix.
Here's the complete list of restaurants and bars opening and closing this first week of 2022:
Misaki at Superior, 402 Marshall Road, Superior
Swift's Breakfast House, 930 Santa Fe Drive
Wayne's Smoke Shack, 406 Center Drive, Superior
Restaurants and bars closing this week:
Breakfast King, 1100 South Santa Fe Drive
The Rotary, 1116 West Dillon Road, Louisville
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