Opinion: Denver Restaurant The Populist Lives on in Memory, and Vogue | Westword
Navigation

Reader: The Populist Set the Stage for So Many of Today's Restaurants

The restaurant lives on in the memory of Denver diners...and in Vogue.
The Populist was a legendary restaurant on Larimer Street.
The Populist was a legendary restaurant on Larimer Street. Danielle Lirette
Share this:
"We’re literally in vogue!!!!" read a January 7 Instagram post from Molotov, the Eastern European eatery that opened a year ago on East Colfax Avenue and immediately won a Best of Denver award. Molotov was among the spots included in the new edition of Vogue's Denver Guide, which outlines where visitors should stay, eat and drink in the Mile High City.

It's definitely a big deal for businesses to be included in a national publication, but something was amiss with Vogue's picks. It listed only nine restaurants in the "where to eat" section, and one of them has been closed since 2019: The Populist. While the Populist was indeed a spot we would have recommended to visitors during its seven-year run, "you'd think more than four years would be enough time for someone there to have done a quick Google search on the places included to at least make sure they're all still open," Molly Martin notes.

In their responses on the Westword Facebook post sharing the Vogue glitch, readers remember the Populist...and comment on the food scene and journalism in general. Says Jody: 
The Populist ruled.
Adds Andrew:
Populist was my favorite restaurant. I think about it all the time.
Suggests Carolyn:
Fact checking is no longer "in Vogue."
Notes Robin:
I couldn't read the entire article, but it also mentioned that hotels and restaurants are moving into "emerging neighborhoods" like Cherry Creek and Lower Highlands." Yes, those neighborhoods are so up-and-coming!
Replies Kristen:
Doesn't seem like it's that huge a deal. A mistake, yes, but it's doubtful someone would read the story and get in their car and go to the location without checking it out online first for a menu or reservation or directions. Meanwhile, I'm grateful that a newspaper has never unnecessarily publicized and rubbed my nose in one of my mistakes so I could be publicly mocked for it.
Counters Sara Ann: 
I wouldn't put it past the general public to do just that, and then throw a fit that they couldn't find it. If no one points out your mistakes, how will you ever learn? It's called constructive criticism.
Adds Dena:
 Lazy, content aggregation that substitutes for "writing."
Offers Frank: 
Vogue has less circulation than Westword.
Says Michael:
To Vogue's credit, the only thing Denver likes more than opening new restaurants is closing the great ones...
Offers Trish:
We have a Michelin-starred restaurant, like okay. And what do those of us who just want good food without spending $200 a person do? It’s genuinely so bad here I’ve stopped even trying to find good places.
Concludes Joe:
Loved the Populist, which set the stage for so many of today's great restaurants. Maybe Vogue is just serving wishful thinking...I wish I was back at the Populist.
Did you eat at the Populist? What's your favorite local restaurant today? Post a comment or share your thoughts at [email protected].
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. Your membership allows us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls. You can support us by joining as a member for as little as $1.