Cafe Society

Thank God It's Not Still Fridays at Union Station

In her recent review of The Kitchen Next Door Glendale, Gretchen Kurtz compares the homegrown restaurant group to the decades-old phenomenon of TGI Fridays -- not because of the quality of the food, but because of how well the Next Door concept captures the community. "As I downed a stiff margarita and snacked on kale chips at the six-month-old Kitchen Next Door Glendale," she writes, "I saw two concepts with the same DNA, both trying to create a hip environment where folks could connect over drinks and grab a meal."

There's another reason to compare the two, though: Location, location, location. See also: Is the Kitchen Next Door Glendale the Next Big Thing?

One reader with a long memory points out that Kurtz was more on the mark than she may have realized: Decades ago, there was a TGI Fridays located in the Union Station wing that's now home to the Kitchen Next Door Union Station, which opened last month right next to Stoic & Genuine -- which also occupies some of the TGI space.

After Fridays pulled out of the station two decades ago, it was replaced by Redfish Seafood Kitchen, then Lotus, a nightclub that closed down after a shooting in the parking lot and never reopened. The local, local, local Kitchen Next Door should be a much better fit, with its determination to be "its own hip, casual, somewhat healthy being," Kurtz writes. "And with that goal, it fits into the current Denver scene far better than any global chain."

Even the legendary TGI Fridays.

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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