Cafe Society

Update: Kevin Taylor Steak won't stake its claim until next year

A few days back, we talked about Kevin Taylor getting his catering operation up and running out of Palettes at the Denver Art Museum. Inside that blog, there were some questions about what had gone wrong with the launch of what was supposed to be his newest full-scale restaurant, Kevin Taylor Steak. It had originally been scheduled for a September 2009 opening, but here we are in October and no new steak house. So what gives?

I got a hold of Taylor this morning and asked precisely that. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer was about as banal as they come: delays from the contractor.

See, Taylor has gotten smart over the past few years. The man simply does not open restaurants anymore that don't have some kind of operating agreement to go along with them. He opens joints in hotels, in opera houses, in art museums. What he doesn't do is open free-standing restaurants where it's solely his name (and bank account) on the line. And while this does give him some measure of protection (because there's nothing like a captive hotel or opera house audience to make that bottom line look good), it also leaves him open to delays that are entirely beyond his control.

The contractor for his Kevin Taylor Steak concept (which will be going into the Aloft hotel in Broomfield) is Tim Wiens--also one of the two guys behind the entire Arista development that the Aloft hotel is a part of. And Wiens, according to Taylor, is a very busy man these days. He's got something going at the Broomfield Event Center, some major construction projects to deal with that involve massive parking garages and roads. The construction of the space that's being held for Kevin Taylor Steak? That just kind of got...pushed.

"The hotel business is crushed," Taylor told me. "Conventions are off. It's been a lean summer." And since Wiens already had all this other work to do, "He just felt like, 'Let's wait 'til that's done.'"

So that's what Taylor is doing: waiting. The way things are looking right now, there's no way we'll see any action at Kevin Taylor Steak before May of next year. "It's a developer deal," Taylor explained--meaning that he's basically just stuck sitting on his hands until Arista builds him his new restaurant.

Well, not sitting on his hands exactly. I mean, the man does have seven other food service operations to worry about right now. And by his estimation, the new catering operation at the museum "will probably double Palettes' business." So something tells me he'll have plenty to keep him occupied until the hotel business bounces back and the hammers start swinging up in Broomfield next year.

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Jason Sheehan
Contact: Jason Sheehan