Over the past five years, Tennyson Street in the Berkeley neighborhood has been a dynamic, if unpredictable, restaurant zone. The shifting demographic, from a quiet neighborhood of modest single-family homes to a gentrifying street with new condos, apartments and imposing scrape-and-build houses, has made it tough to predict exactly what kind of bar or eatery will attract customers.
The Midwestern Saloon, opened at 3961 Tennyson Street by Andrea and Dan DeShano in 2016, seemed to straddle the line between a hip new spot built for neighborhood newcomers (especially recent transplants from Iowa, Minnesota and the Great Lakes region) and a comfortable hangout where longtime residents could feel welcome. Pork tenderloin sandwiches, Juicy Lucy burgers and cheese curds by the basket were the calling cards, but that will come to an end this weekend. The Midwestern posted the following note on its Facebook page yesterday afternoon:
Bittersweet news . . . The MidWestern Saloon will be closing doors for good this coming Sunday. Come on down and get your last cheese curd fix before they are gone!
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Even before The Midwestern arrived on the block, things were tricky for new restaurants. The Tennyson Street Barbecue previously occupied the saloon's space, and before that it was Big Hoss Bar-B-Q. The stretch of Tennyson between West 38th and West 44th avenues has been particularly active, but ripples of growth have spread along the cross streets and north of 44th.
In the past five years, openings on Tennyson Street or within a block have included Paris Crêpe, Post Oak Barbecue, Empourium Brewing Co., FlyteCo Brewing, Tres Chiles, Revelry Kitchen, Vital Root, The Tatarian, Nug Nugs Diner, Allegro Coffee Roasters, Il Porcellino, High Point Creamery, Biju's Little Curry Shop, Denver Biscuit Co. and Fat Sully's Pizza, Mas Kaos, The Way Back, Call to Arms Brewing, the Grateful Gnome and Barbed Wire Reef. The stretch even got its own grocery store when Natural Grocers opened in 2016, taking over where Elitch Lanes had been located for more than six decades.
Of course, there have been closings, too: Kazan Ramen, Tenya Japanese Soulfood, Axios Estiatorio, Block & Larder and The Royal, to name a few.
Visit the Midwestern Saloon from 11 a.m. to midnight for the remainder of this week for walleye sandwiches and other tastes of the Midwest; call 303-455-0954 for details.