1600 East 17th Avenue
Chef/restaurateur Mary Nguyen had a good run at her flagship kitchen in Uptown, first with Parallel 17, which captured the essence of her Vietnamese roots, and then with P17, which gave voice to her fondness for French cooking. But in May, Nguyen closed the restaurant in order to focus on the growth of Olive & Finch, which she plans to expand from its original location at 1552 East 17th Avenue to several outposts throughout metro Denver. The first, at 3390 East First Avenue, is slated to debut in late January or early February. Meanwhile, Steve Lockton and Lindsay Donnelly are working on opening Jack's Uptown Grill in the former P17 space, though permitting delays have pushed the launch date out several months.
3651 Navajo Street
When Patsy's shut down after 95 years of serving Italian fare to generations of north Denver residents, it was nearly like losing a family member. Sure, the menu was outdated and the dining room aging, but we have many fond memories of grabbing a seat at the vintage bar among regulars, enjoying a date night at a dimly lit booth, and experiencing gracious, professional service that upheld classic notions of hospitality. While Lower Highland has lost many of its vintage Italian joints, new restaurants continue to make the neighborhood a great destination. Patsy's last owners, Ron Cito and Kim DeLancey, didn't reveal who had purchased their place, but they did say this: "We're very excited for the venue coming in. It will be a great fit for the neighborhood." Paper is now up on the windows, and those new owners have a liquor-license hearing this week.
5395 West 48th Avenue
Classic dive bars are becoming an endangered species in Denver. One of our perennial favorites, the Squeeze Inn, closed in October, leaving us with one less watering hole for cheap drinks and nights of rubbing elbows with like-minded late-night denizens. The building, a 1,091-square-foot bungalow built in 1961, was sold to new owners and is currently vacant; rumor has it that it will be leveled for a parking lot.
After more than three decades in downtown Denver, the Trinity Grille closed at the end of service on Saturday, February 13. Owner Tom Walls is concentrating on his last remaining restaurant, Castle Cafe, at 403 Wilcox Street in Castle Rock — where you can get some of the best fried chicken in the metro area — as well as Next Door, the bar next door to the fried-chicken fiefdom. While it took much longer than anticipated, La Loma, which spent months renovating the place, finally moved from its longtime home in Jefferson Park in November, and is now serving its unique brand of "Mountain Mex" in downtown Denver.
2239 West 30th Avenue
Last in alphabetical order but first in our hearts, Z Cuisine shuttered unexpectedly at the end of the summer. We still miss the lively din of the tiny eatery and its bar, À Côté Bar à Absinthe, as well as the evocative, soulful French fare of chef/owner Patrick Dupays, whose meticulous sourcing and deft touch meant there was always something fresh and inviting on the seasonally shifting menu. Z Cuisine's days are not done, however. Florida chefs Jamille Cucci (sister of Edible Beats founder Justin Cucci) and Dominique Falkner bought the restaurant in September and are expected to reopen sometime this spring.