The Way Back has gone from a cultish little cocktail bar to a much-buzzed-about commodity in recent months. Once Denver diners started catching on that the food at 4132 West 38th Avenue was every bit as good as the drinks, the ownership team of Chad Michael George, Kade Gianinetti and Jared Schwartz began building momentum. They added American Grind to the Avanti Food & Beverage lineup at the beginning of 2017 and then dropped the big news that they'd be opening another restaurant, Wayward, in the former Zengo space at 1610 Little Raven Street. Now the team is planning a move for its flagship restaurant: The Way Back will close at its current location on Sunday, August 6, with the goal of reopening in 2018 on Tennyson Street, where a new lease has been signed at an undisclosed address.
The move will give the Way Back more space and, more important, a new kitchen, as the kitchen crew, under chef Marcus Eng and Samuel Charles, have been cooking in a food truck parked behind the restaurant for more than a year, since the Way Back opened in the spring of 2016.
George says that he's not quite ready to announce the address, but he notes that the space — which will be in the heart of Tennyson Street's dining and entertainment zone — will allow the restaurant to more fully spread its wings. "We're seriously evaluating the image that has fallen on the Way Back as more of a bar than a restaurant," he explains. "The new space will allow us to differentiate between the bar and restaurant spaces."
While Wayward is expected to open in about three weeks, the Way Back will be closed for several months. To allow customers to say a temporary goodbye, the team is hosting a send-off taco party on August 6 from 2 to 6 p.m.
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Even with one restaurant closing, George, Schwartz and Gianinetti will have their hands full with the opening of Wayward. And George will have his hands full in a completely different field later in August: He'll be throwing out the first pitch at the Rockies/Tigers game on August 30 at Coors Field.
When our restaurant critic, Gretchen Kurtz, reviewed the Way Back in June, she noted that it stands out as "playful, inventive, evolving. The Way Back is many things, but it’s never the same thing." It definitely won't be the same thing after the move, but we're counting on playful and inventive remaining hallmarks at the new location, too.