The naming of things — bands, beers, restaurants — has apparently gotten harder and harder, since all the good names were scooped up long ago. Brewers turn to unwieldy inside jokes to name their new suds, but the thought of ordering a Shirtless Putin Nuzzling Dolphins Barrel-Aged Imperial Baltic Porter will cause nearly any beer drinker to just go with PBR instead. Musicians long ago stopped using animals (even the silly ones such as giraffes and bonobos) for inspiration, so now we're stuck buying tickets to the latest SCARLXRD and Its Just Bugs shows.
And when a classic eatery named after a person — Marlowe's, in this case — goes dark, its replacement can't just be a simple Joe's or a House of Steak. A new restaurant has announced its intent to open in the former Marlowe's space at 501 16th Street with the unlikely name West of Surrender, which sounds more like a lost Steinbeck novel than an inviting place to dine.
While West of Surrender is being tight-lipped about its concept for now (a request for information yielded only an email promising news to come), the company is in the process of hiring, and chef Scott Burnham has been named as executive chef/partner (at least according to LinkedIn). Burnham has manned the burners at several metro Denver restaurants, including Parisi, Le Merise, Randolph's and the Greenbriar Inn.
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Here's what the restaurant's website has to say about the name West of Surrender:
In the mid-to-late 1800s, tens of thousands of Americans left the relative civilization and stability of the east coast in search of newfound prosperity. Venturing west was prompted by one of two things— the chance to head toward opportunity or to run away from failure or misdeeds. Either motive meant untold danger and one had to wager that what lay ahead was better than what was being left behind. That, in the simplest terms, the reward outweighed the risk.
West of Surrender captures the spirit of America’s great migration west and an identity and attitude that lives to this day. It means: beyond giving up; too late to turn back; leaving failure behind; and chasing chance.
We get it; this is the Wild West and anything goes, so a restaurant might as well choose an outlandish moniker to gain a little early attention.
But restaurateurs also need to consider what their restaurant will end up being called by its customers: WoS, Surrender's, That Place That Used to Be Marlowe's, for example. Ultimately though, it's all about great food and service, and we're hoping this new eatery will aim somewhere well before the point of surrender.