Scuttlebutt on the street: World-renowned chef Charlie Palmer taking over Big Game

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Not that Charlie Palmer needs much of an introduction: The world-renowned, James Beard award-winning master chef, whose progressive American cooking, stylized with classic French techniques, has generated accolades all over the country, presides over an extraordinary number of restaurants, from New York to Dallas, Washington DC to Sonoma, Las Vegas to Reno.

His restaurant kingdom currently stands at fifteen, but he'll soon have sixteen restaurants under his canopy, the newest of which, according to Penny Parker, who broke the story in yesterday's Denver Post, will be in Denver -- specifically LoDo.

Parker didn't mention which space Palmer was eying, but the rumor mill is swirling with rumblings that Big Game, the downtown sports and media lounge that New York restaurateurs Zach and Jeffrey Chodorow opened in May of last year at 1631 Wazee Street, is the site of Palmer's latest conquest.

When I got Zach on the phone yesterday morning, he wouldn't verify that the Charlie Palmer Group was the buyer, but he did say this: "We're currently negotiating the sale of Big Game, and we're 95 percent there, but since we're still in negotiations, I can't confirm at this time the identity of the interested party." He added, too, that the the deal should be inked by August 2.

And while Big Game may be done in Denver, this might not be the last that we see from Jeffrey Chodorow, who operates China Grill Management, a multi-million dollar company whose restaurants include China Grill, Red Square, Asia de Cuba, Mix, Red, White and Blue and several others. "I wasn't spending enough time in Denver to really justify keeping Big Game going, and for right now, it's not the best time to do a new brand when we already have core brands that we're focused on, but we'd love to bring a China Grill to Denver -- we just don't know when," says Zach.

We'll keep you updated.

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