When Vesta Dipping Grill arrived back in 1997, it changed Denver's dining scene. For starters, the restaurant pioneered an area where fine dining, even casual fine dining, was relatively unknown: the upper end of LoDo. And then, the place was just so cool: an edgy, industrial interior; a fun concept that paired homemade sauces with your choice of proteins; young owner, chefs and staffers who quickly created a community.
Over the years, as restaurants opened around Vesta, it made some changes — the chairs that had earned it the "Vesta Tripping Grill" nickname disappeared, as did the words "Dipping Grill" themselves. But Vesta remained as cool as ever until it closed along with the rest of Colorado's restaurants in mid-March.
And while others reopened, including siblings Steuben's Uptown and Ace Eat Serve, Vesta did not. Now it never will: Last week, founder Josh Wolkon told Vesta's staff and fans that it's gone for good. The response was immediate, and overwhelming.
Nooooooooo: 2020 gets seriously 10 times worse every day.
Well, shit...what I thought was impossible has happened.
Damnit. Some of my favorite meals of my life.
I remember going to Vesta in my early twenties for the first time and thinking, “Wow, I’m a grownup now. I can pay for this nice meal on my own.” I also had some great dates with my then-boyfriend-now-husband early in our relationship. Thanks for the memories.
I spent some fabulous evenings there with friends and family. Thank you so much for the fantastic food, atmosphere and service.
So many of life's celebrations and friendship fun there. As a hotel concierge, I sent literally thousands there over the years. What a loss.
This is the saddest news, and my heart is literally breaking right now. Waiting tables at Vesta brings back so many great memories. I loved that job, the restaurant and the people who worked there.
We are heartbroken to lose this beloved establishment! Josh and Jenn and the Vesta crew are the best people on earth. Our daughter Bri prepped there devotedly until her death a year ago. Vesta was her second family. Our memories will live on!
Dies anybody else feeling like they are living in the Twilight Zone?
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Now they can put an Applebee's Grill & Bar in there! $1 drinks and half-priced apps for everyone!
But first, you can return to 1822 Blake Street on August 8 and August 9 for one last Vesta event, though it will be a sad goodbye: Last month, former exec chef Brandon Foster, who'd moved on to Project Angel Heart, passed away, and Vesta will be hosting "Boards for Brandon," selling housemade charcuterie (Foster created the Vesta charcuterie room and program) and cheese on keepsake #BeLikeBrandon cutting boards. There will also be sales on wine, and a chance to celebrate the chef who was such an intrinsic part of the Vesta community; all proceeds will go to Foster's family. Reserve your board and pick-up time here.
What will you miss about Vesta? Post a comment or share your thoughts at email@example.com.