After spending some time living and working in Chicago, Schaden moved back to Denver right before the pandemic and decided it was time to open his own place. "I want to represent our region and our flavors," he says of the concept. "So chiles, corn is going to be king, squashes, beans, juniper, huckleberries, Alaskan salmon, Washington oysters, Southern California tuna. All of those things. You're going to get the bounty of the West."
A bar opened this week, as well. 12 Spirits Tavern is located in the bottom floor of the historic (and supposedly haunted) Patterson Inn, which owner Chris Chiari purchased in 2018. The space is meant to be an additional amenity for guests of the inn first and foremost, but Chiari also hopes it will be a before- or after-dinner stop for people in the neighborhood — particularly those who pass the building regularly but have never stepped inside. The Patterson Inn is also the first hotel approved for social marijuana consumption; the weed-friendly lounge, which is located on the opposite end of the property from the bar, is expected to open this fall.
The onslaught of closures continues this week, with three to report and three more shuttering in the coming days. In late April, a message on the Ale House website announced its temporary closure — but it turns out the restaurant has shut down for good. The space was typically a favorite at this time of year because of its rooftop patio, but competition in the LoHi neighborhood combined with slow sales through the pandemic ultimately brought it down. Looking for other rooftops to hang out on this summer? We've got you covered.
Allegro Coffee Roasters on Tennyson has also shut its doors, along with a place with perhaps the worst name for a restaurant in metro Denver: Dirty Pit Craft House. The Littleton spot was open for fewer than four months before calling it quits amid claims of unpaid wages by former employees, according to a 7News story.
On Saturday, May 28, To the Wind will serve its last meal on East Colfax, ending an eight year-run during which the small spot was considered one of the best eateries in the city. The next day, May 29, will be the last hurrah for Freshcraft. And on May 31, one of Denver's few Szechuan restaurants, Little Chengdu/Blue Ocean, will say goodbye, taking with it the hand-pulled noodle skills of chef/owner Jack Ning.
In other openings and closings news:
- The Rio's downtown location will close on May 30, but not for long. It will reopen in a new space just a few blocks away on June 3.
- Korean fried chicken chain bb.q Chicken is already open in Aurora and will soon add a location in Capitol Hill — with at least two more outposts coming this year and more after that. Find out more about its expansion plans.
- Uchi announced that it's bringing sister concept Uchiko to Cherry Creek...but not until 2024. The neighborhood will welcome other new eateries before that, including Sap Sua, a Vietnamese pop-up turned brick-and-mortar.
Restaurants and bars opening this week:*
12 Spirits Tavern, 420 East 11th Avenue
Terra, 891 14th Street
Restaurants and bars closing this week:*
Ale House, 2501 16th Street
Allegro Coffee Roasters, 4040 Tennyson Street
Dirty Pit Craft House, 51 West Dry Creek Court, Littleton
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