Openings and Closings

Every Restaurant Opening and Closing This Week, October 31-November 6

Culinary Dropout has an art installation made from Converse shoes.
Culinary Dropout has an art installation made from Converse shoes. From the Hip Photo
A double dose of new options arrived at the 9+CO development on Colorado Boulevard this week: Culinary Dropout and Blanco Cocina + Cantina, both from Arizona-based Fox Restaurant Concepts, which also owns North Italia and Flower Child.

Even more tacos hit the scene with the debut of a third Cochino in Arvada. Restaurateur Johnny Ballen launched his first Cochino in a former Phillips 66 station at 3495 South Downing Street in Englewood in 2016, and followed that up in 2019 with an outpost at 176 South Broadway, in what had been Gary Lee's Motor Club & Grub (and was a mechanic's garage before that). The new location was purchased from the Little Pub Company, which ran 4Barrel Bar & BBQ there for four and a half years in a structure that was built as a Texaco service station in the 1950s.

Mochi doughnuts got a boost in Aurora with the arrival of Mochinut, which serves the chewy baked goods as well as a lineup of Korean rice flour hot dogs, including a cheese-stuffed version coated in hot Cheeto dust.

A new winery opened in Englewood on November 5. Ladrón Cellars produces wine with fruit sourced from Colorado, California's Central Coast (Paso Robles) and Washington, and describes its philosophy as "drinking local-ish." The location has a tasting room and large patio as well as an on-site barrel room.


Lea Jane's Hot Chicken made a move. After closing its location inside Avanti Denver, it's now in a brick-and-mortar spot in RiNo and is planning to open two more locations in Englewood and near the University of Denver. But the DU area already has a new option, thanks to the addition of a second location of Istanbul Cafe, where you can find baklava, Turkish-style panini, meat-stuffed borek made with flaky pastry dough and more.

But while there are some new treats in town, Halloween also brought two tricks. Restaurateur Troy Guard's Big Wave Tacos was only open for a year inside the Junction food hall on South Colorado Boulevard before TAG Restaurant Group decided to shutter it on October 31 in order to concentrate on other ventures. Tooey's Off Colfax had been a neighborhood staple since 2008 before it announced its closure in December 2020; it reopened again for a while but officially called it quits on October 31, too.

Here's our list of every restaurant and bar opening and closing this week:
click to enlarge Blanco Cocina + Cantina serves nine taco options. - FROM THE HIP PHOTO
Blanco Cocina + Cantina serves nine taco options.
From the Hip Photo

Restaurants and bars opening this week:

Blanco Cocina + Cantina, 4177 East Ninth Avenue
Cochino Taco, 7702 Ralston Road, Arvada
Culinary Dropout, 4141 East 9th Avenue
Istanbul Cafe, 2350 East Evans Avenue
Ladrón Cellars, 11435 East Briarwood Avenue, Englewood
Mochinut, 2222 South Havana Street, Unit A2, Aurora

Restaurants and bars reopening this week:

Lea Jane's Hot Chicken, 1441 26th Street

Restaurants and bars closing this week:

Big Wave Tacos, 2000 South Colorado Boulevard
Tooey's Off Colfax, 1521 Marion Street

What did we miss? Tell us in a comment or send a note to [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