The disappointing news that Osaka Ramen in Cherry Creek will be serving its last bowl tomorrow night was mitigated by the sounds of slurping still ringing loud and clear from the stairwell of the subterranean original in RiNo. That and the fact that chef/owner Jeff Osaka is resurrecting his celebrated Twelve as 12@Madison in Congress Park in the coming weeks. Osaka's ups and downs this week illustrate how tough restaurant ownership can be, even in a thriving scene. Sometimes a location can be the culprit, as is likely the case at the Cherry Creek outpost; restaurant black holes in that neighborhood have swallowed an alarming number of sound concepts over the years, including Opus Fine Dining and the soon-to-shutter Harman's Eat + Drink. Even a Chinese eatery with a cult following like Hasu on Steele Street felt compelled to drop its traditional Chinese menu in favor of its more popular sushi bar due to lack of sales, a fact that our former restaurant critic Laura Shunk discovered after returning to Denver from a year in China.
Across town, Jefferson Park may be quickly gentrifying, but not fast enough for Amass, isolated as it is on the east side of the park. The French restaurant just announced that it will close after two years in the quirky space that was previously home to Corner House. "We will be here through the end of the week and would love a chance to say our goodbyes," Amass posted on its Facebook page. "We'll miss Jefferson Park and all of you like crazy!"
The Walnut Room also announced its intentions to close its Broadway pizza joint in order to focus on the booming scene surrounding its original restaurant and music hall in RiNo. The Broadway location opened in 2009 and seems to be a prime spot for another eatery to swoop in; it will shutter on August 28.
In other news:
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RESTAURANTS/BARS OPENING THIS WEEK*:
Board Game Republic, 900 West First Avenue
Cheese Ranch Artisan Deli, 601 16th Street, Golden
Lancer's Diner, 2991 West Evans Avenue
Resolute Brewing Company, 7286 South Yosemite Street, Centennial
RESTAURANTS/BARS REOPENING THIS WEEK*:
The Denver Wrangler (moved from 1700 Logan Street), 3090 Downing Street
*Or earlier, and not reported in a previous Second Helping.