Openings and Closings

Every Restaurant Opening and Closing This Week, June 18-24

Bonchon is now serving its Koren fried chicken near the D.U. neighborhood.
Bonchon is now serving its Koren fried chicken near the D.U. neighborhood. Linnea Covington
Let's start with the good news: seven new restaurants debuted this week and one made a comeback.

But two historic spots have shuttered and more closures loom. The Bucksnort Saloon, an iconic mountain bar by Pine, has closed and is up for sale after the new owners got in a spat with Jeffco over some major septic problems; it now faces an uncertain future. And once again, El Rancho in Evergreen has gone dark. The website of the 74-year-old spot, which became the El Rancho Brewing Company in 2016, is MIA, and the phone goes unanswered...despite plenty of event bookings there in June.

The list of upcoming closings in Denver continues to grow as well. It includes Bonnie Brae Tavern, closing June 25; the Copper Pot's South Broadway location (the concept's original founder still operates one in Aurora) and Annie's Cafe on June 26; Asbury Provisions on June 30; and the latest: Devour the 303, near the University of Denver, which just announced that it will shutter on July 3.
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The Bonnie Brae Tavern site will become a three-story apartment complex.
Patricia Calhoun
Most of these closures can be traced to pandemic-related pressures, including labor shortages and rising food costs, the effects of which continue to hit the hospitality industry hard. Still, new places continue to open.

Beverage lovers have three new options: Eiskaffee, which serves ice cream alongside coffee (plus a unique German treat: spaghetti ice cream); Boba Blast, which got a new hot-pink paint job at its South Broadway location; and Kwench Shave Ice and Soda Bar in Aurora. If beer is more your style, Ephemeral Rotating Taproom debuted on June 18; it will host a different brewery from outside the Denver area every two to four weeks.

Close by in Five Points, Duke's Good Sandwiches and its sister concept, Scratch Bakery and Market, made their debut the same week that neighboring business Rosenberg's reopened. That hot spot for bagels had closed on Mother's Day weekend when a manager walked out. Owner Josh Pollack took some time to regroup and has brought it back as a grab-and-go-only concept for now, "to create a more sustainable work environment for our staff while maintaining our high standards of quality in our products and hospitality," according to the Rosenberg's website.

And two more spots opened this weekend, both courtesy of out-of-state operations. Bonchon now has a location in south Denver, and Torchy's Tacos has an outpost in Lowry.

Here's the complete list of restaurants and bars opening and closing in metro Denver this week:
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Dan and Michelle Sawyer are behind the new sandwich shop and bakery.
Kristin Pazulski
Restaurants and bars opening this week:*

Boba Blast, 1559 South Broadway
Bonchon, 3970 Buchtel Boulevard
Duke's Good Sandwiches/Scratch Bakery and Market, 2748 Welton Street
Eiskaffee, 1112 Broadway
Ephemeral Rotating Taproom, 2301 East 28th Avenue
Kwench Shave Ice and Soda Bar, 23975 East Town Square Avenue, Aurora
Torchy’s Tacos, 63 North Quebec Street

Restaurants and bars reopening this week:*

Rosenberg's Bagels, 725 East 26th Avenue

Restaurants and bars closing this week:*

Bucksnort Saloon, 15921 Elk Creek Road, Sphinx Park/Pine
El Rancho, 29260 US-40, Evergreen

*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