"It’s with overwhelming sadness that we announce the closing of Street Feud," reads a December 31 Instagram post
; the restaurant's last day of service was January 1.
This concept from chef Merlin Verrier faced a lot of challenges during its short life. It got its start as a stall at Avanti, where it debuted in August 2019, just six months before COVID-19 upended the restaurant industry. In February 2020, Verrier thought he'd found a space for Street Feud on South Broadway — but the pandemic put a halt to that plan, so it ended up moving into Number Thirty Eight that October.
The chef refined his recipes as he continued to look for a brick-and-mortar location. He spent five months negotiating a lease for a different South Broadway space, but that deal fell apart just six weeks before his Number Thirty Eight stint was set to end. "At that point I was crushed...like, it's over," he told Westword in December 2021
, after Street Feud finally debuted in its own digs at 5410 East Colfax Avenue.
The building, which was the longtime home of chef Goose Sorenson's Solera, a fine-dining eatery, had most recently been home to Hank's Texas Barbecue, which closed in August 2021.
Street Feud owner Merlin Verrier collected boomboxes from thrift stores and garage sales over three years.
Verrier transformed the place, plastering the dining room with layers of old magazines, posters and random found objects, and adding a showcase for his collection of retro boomboxes.
While Verrier's menu, filled with choices inspired by street food from around the world, was packed with flavor, the concept never packed in the crowds.
Then in November, Verrier unexpectedly ended up in the hospital, where he had to have life-saving emergency surgery. "They removed over a foot of his large intestines, the small intestines and large were both so infected & smashed together that when they went to separate them the small intestines ripped. His infection was extremely bad & unfortunately the infection spread. He has lost 40 lbs & is on an ileostomy bag," reads a GoFundMe
that was set up to help his family with medical bills and other costs, including Verrier missing over two weeks of work at the restaurant. As of January 3, the GoFundMe has raised over $45,000 of its $60,000 goal.
The Instagram post announcing the closure of Street Feud did not mention Verrier's health crisis, but cited "the worst economic inflation in our generation" as well as the challenges of the pandemic as reasons for the closure.
Now the building, which is still owned by Sorenson, is awaiting its next tenant.