Openings and Closings

Every Restaurant Opening and Closing This Week, May 14-20

Front Range Inn reopened under new owners on May 20.
Front Range Inn reopened under new owners on May 20. Nate Day
As the pressures of staffing shortages, rising costs and other challenges of running a restaurant in pandemic times continue, restaurant closures — both temporary and permanent — are on the rise. This week, we learned of three upcoming closures: Blue Ocean/Little Chengdu, To the Wind and Freshcraft, which will all shutter by the end of the month.

Acres, which opened in Englewood in 2015, has been closed for some time; while its website still says it's shuttered temporarily, an "available" notice on the building is a (literal) sign that Acres is gone for good. Also to the south, Smokin' Dave's has closed its Arapahoe Road outpost in Centennial, though its Denver location on Cortez Street as well as two spots in Estes Park and others in Longmont and Lyons remain open.

Rosenberg's Bagels' original location in Five Points has been shut down since Mother's Day, with staffing listed as the major factor. A reopening date has not yet been announced — though when it does come back, prepared bagels, including sandwiches and those slathered in cream cheese, will be off the menu. But it's business as usual at the other Rosenberg's locations in Boulder and at Stanley Marketplace.

Handsome Boys Hospitality has been staying busy — the group just opened both putt-putt party bar RiNo Country Club and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-themed bar and pizza place Casey Jones. But its Telephone Pub in Lakewood remains closed. The tavern originally opened last December under a special events permit, explains owner Josh Schmitz, and the group hoped to have a permanent liquor license by the time that permit expired. But in Lakewood, that process can take up to seven months, he notes: "We're looking at being closed another month or so before we reopen."
click to enlarge Juan Pablo Llano (left), Michael Graunke and Esteban Gallardo opened Pit Fiend in the former home of Owlbear on May 20. - EVAN SEMÓN
Juan Pablo Llano (left), Michael Graunke and Esteban Gallardo opened Pit Fiend in the former home of Owlbear on May 20.
Evan Semón
It's not all doom and gloom, though. There are six openings to report, including Pit Fiend, a new barbecue joint that opened in the former Owlbear space in RiNo. Two of the three owners were former Owlbear cooks, and a co-worker who passed away during Owlbear's last weekend in business in January is a big inspiration for the new crew.

And a longtime local favorite got a fresh start this week, as well. Front Range Inn, which was built in Lakewood in the 1930s, had been closed since early 2021. Brother-and-sister duo Kevin Carpanini and Jen Rugh bought the place and reopened the doors on May 20 — just in time to be a go-to spot for Red Rocks concert-goers before and after shows.

In other openings and closings news:
Here's the full list of restaurants and bars opening and closing this week:
click to enlarge Rosenberg's Five Points location is closed temporarily, and changes are coming when it reopens. - FROM THE HIP PHOTO
Rosenberg's Five Points location is closed temporarily, and changes are coming when it reopens.
From the Hip Photo
Restaurants and bars opening this week:*

Blazing Bird, 13700 East Colfax Avenue, Aurora
Field and Forest, 415 South Cherokee Street
Front Range Inn, 7779 Morrison Road, Lakewood
Pit Fiend, 2826 Larimer Street
Pure Green
, 681 East Louisiana Avenue
Raising Cane's, 5060 South Wadsworth Boulevard, Lakewood

Restaurants and bars closing temporarily this week:*

Rosenberg's Bagels & Delicatessen, 725 East 26th Avenue
Telephone Pub, 7260 West Alaska Drive

Restaurants and bars closing this week:*

Acres, 3999 South Broadway
Smokin' Dave's BBQ & Brew, 7685 East Arapahoe Road, Centennial

*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