After more than three decades in downtown Denver, the Trinity Grille closed at the end of service on Saturday, February 13. Another restaurant is slated to take over the space, and owner Tom Walls will focus on his last remaining restaurant, Castle Cafe at 403 Wilcox Street in Castle Rock, as well as Next Door, the bar next door to the fried-chicken fiefdom.
Walls and his partners opened the Trinity right across from the Brown Palace in 1982, during the height of the oil-and-gas boom. The upscale decor was reminiscent of the venerable Tadich Grill in San Francisco, with its tiled floors and dark wood; the menu went much further than seafood, though, and plenty of business deals were closed over big martinis and bigger steaks in the Trinity's busy dining room before the boom went bust.
Over the decades the Trinity went through occasional updates, but by 2012, when our happy hour reviewer visited, it seemed a little tired — although the friendly bartender was as professional as ever.
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By then, Walls had already closed the nearby Rocky Mountain Diner after failing to come to an agreement with the landlord. That spot at 800 18th Street shuttered almost exactly five years ago, on February 20, 2011, after a twenty-year run. For almost two years the address was home to Ghost & Tap, a Wynkoop concept, but that restaurant closed in May 2013 and the space remains empty.
And just over a year ago, Walls also sold Chopper's Sports Grille in Cherry Creek North to the Tavern Hospitality Group; it's still up and running.
But it's time to raise a toast to the Trinity Grille, which is now part of Denver dining history.