Row 14 Bistro and Wine Bar showed early promise when it opened in the glitzy new Spire Building in 2011. Arik Marcus, the restaurant's opening chef, was getting press and praise almost before he'd made his first knife cut; a few months later, our restaurant critic at the time, Laura Shunk, found plenty to like. But business was always uneven -- the Colorado Convention Center location made the place feast or famine -- and Jensen Cummings, next up in the kitchen after Marcus's departure, soon moved on to open his own fast-casual meatball eatery. And now the restaurant is dark and the phone is dead.
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Despite being true to its name as a wine bar -- we gave it a Best of Denver award for its by-the-glass wine list -- it seems that great wine and a creative menu weren't enough to increase the sporadic business coming from the Colorado Convention Center and the Denver Performing Arts Complex, while Denver diners living outside of downtown may have been scared off by fears of expensive parking and battling tourist crowds in the area.
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Ultimately, though, the location could be prime for the right concept. With a modern, well-appointed kitchen and roomy dining area (Row 14 seated over 100), it may not be long before the space gets snapped up by a new restaurateur willing to give it a go.