Cafe Society

Reader: Can Opus and Aria make beautiful music together in Cherry Creek?

Cherry Creek is getting a new/old restaurant: Opus, which was a terrific restaurant when it opened in Littleton a decade ago, is merging with Aria, its sibling.

Michael Long, the opening chef at Opus, left that fine-dining restaurant in 2010 to head the kitchen at Aria, which went into 250 Josephine Street, long a black hole for restaurants. It also swallowed up Long, who left Aria last year. Meanwhile, Sean McGaughey became the chef at Opus, and now he'll be moving to Aria -- because Opus closed Saturday night after a lease dispute.

But it will reappear at 250 Josephine, which is being transformed into Opus and Aria Wine Bar, two entities housed under the same roof. "We'll be offering two different experiences, one in the wine bar, and one in the Opus dining room," says McGaughey.

Will it work? Says cdavies:

No offense to Chef Sean. But I think that this move is a bad business decision. I thought that Nick the managing partner was smarter. Opus had a nitch as a destination restaurant as well as a Littleton gem. The restaurant business is a tough one. The current location of Aria is a bad location. Many chefs with great followings have tried this location and similar spots in Cherry Creek have had to throw in their towels. Some chefs say that the spot is cursed.

Opus moving to Larimer Square or The Highlands would have been a better business decision.

I wish them well, but my suggestion is to contact Robert Irvine at Restaurant Impossible before it is too late!

Look for Opus and Aria Wine Bar to open later this week. Read more about the Opus/Aria merger in Lori Midson's post here.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun