Cafe Society

The restaurants are restless at Writer Square

Writer Square has always been a great place for a nice, Old World-style meal. Whether your bistro of choice is Red Square, Cafe Colore, Crepes 'n Crepes or one of the other eateries nestled into the nooks of this pedestrian shopping center downtown, the evocative aromas of garlic and cigar tobacco and the profusion of gas lamps and flowers has always been guaranteed to transport diners to another world.

These days, however, Writer Square isn't as accommodating to foodies as it used to be. An ambitious refurbishment project undertaken by the block's new owners has mired the area in construction, and at least one restaurant says its summer sales are down 40 to 60 percent. Even more worrisome to some of the eateries, though, is what the place will look like when all is said and done. Will it still be a perfect place to pretend you're supping in Sienna -- or will it feel more like you're feasting in FlatIrons Crossing? To find out what the fuss is about, check out this week's cover story, "Writer's Block."

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner