Openings and Closings

Point Easy to Open in Former Whittier Pub Location

Point Easy owners Dennis Phelps, Andy Bruch and Dan Phelps intend to open the new restaurant by the end of the year.
Point Easy owners Dennis Phelps, Andy Bruch and Dan Phelps intend to open the new restaurant by the end of the year. Kristin Pazulski
Brown paper-covered windows at 2000 East 28th Avenue have piqued the interest of Whittier neighborhood residents. That spot has been a local restaurant and hangout for decades, as M&D's Cafe for more than thirty years and then as the Whittier Pub from 2013 to 2020; now it's set to reopen as Point Easy by the end of the year.

For industry vets Dennis "Denn" Phelps, his brother Dan Phelps and business partner Andy Bruch, the name reflects their philosophy, honed during years of working in the industry: Keep things easy.

Putting this idea into action does not mean lowering standards or taking shortcuts, but rather communicating before an issue gets out of hand, dealing with problems head-on instead of letting them fester, and addressing things before a situation reaches, as the trio says, “point chaos.”

During his hospitality career, Denn worked at Duo and Il Posto as well as the Kitchen in Boulder, where Dan also worked in the front of the house for twelve years and where the two met Bruch, who was also an employee there. Now they've joined forces to “make our dream restaurant,” Denn says, in a neighborhood where he and his brother have lived and in a space where they formerly patronized M&D's Cafe and the Whittier Pub.


The time that the three have spent working in hospitality has shaped their vision for what they want this new restaurant to be. “Looking at past experiences, the times I’ve been most frustrated is when you let things get [to point chaos],” Denn explains. “Point Easy is feel-good” — when the restaurant and staff run smoothly, translating seamlessly to a positive guest experience.
click to enlarge Dennis Phelps has been leaving messages for curious neighbors on the paper-covered door of the old Whittier Pub space. - KRISTIN PAZULSKI
Dennis Phelps has been leaving messages for curious neighbors on the paper-covered door of the old Whittier Pub space.
Kristin Pazulski
Point Easy’s menu will be farm-to-table, though the team winces at that term. Denn has connections to local farms like Cure Organic Farm in Boulder, where he’s worked throughout the pandemic, as well as to ranchers and East Coast “fish folk,” as he calls them — relationships he's developed over his over two-decade career in restaurants.

The menu will include a few staples, but will change based on what’s seasonally available, which may lead to some unique fare. “We’re looking for guests to get familiar with things that are unfamiliar,” Andy says.

“I have good ideas and silly ideas,” Denn explains of his approach to menu planning, which is a collaborative process with his team. “I do my best cooking when I feel free."

One way Point Easy will reflect that feeling of freedom is what the team calls "Get Fed." Similar to a tasting menu, customers who want to be taken care of without the hassle of ordering their meal can just hand back the menu and say, "Can we just Get Fed?" Then staff will ask a few questions to avoid allergies and serious dislikes, and create a meal for the table. As repeat customers come in to Get Fed and Denn gets to know their palates, that experience will evolve.


Dan, who will manage the bar and front of the house, plans to have wines by the glass but also that $100 bottle for special occasions. The full bar will include staples and some surprises. “I want to delve into the fun cocktail stuff,” Dan says.

"While still making you the best Manhattan or Old Fashioned you've ever had," Bruch adds.
click to enlarge The owners hold flowers from Cure Organic Farm in Boulder, where Denn Phelps currently works. - KRISTIN PAZULSKI
The owners hold flowers from Cure Organic Farm in Boulder, where Denn Phelps currently works.
Kristin Pazulski
An interior redesign, including bathroom renovation, is in the works; Point Easy is working with Regular Architecture, which helped create Uncle, Beckon | Call, Hop Alley and other local spots. The updates are still in the planning phase, but they will definelty nclude expanded bar seating.

Since that brown paper went up in the windows, neighbors have begun asking questions about the project. Denn has taken to leaving little notes on the paper covering the front door, relaying messages to the neighborhood. Most are thoughts that he wants to share with curious neighbors, but on a Monday in August, the note was pretty direct: "This will be Point Easy Restaurant, and we are so grateful to welcome you soon."

One common question: Whether the photos of neighborhood dogs formerly on display at Whittier Pub will return? While the new owners don't have the former portraits nor current plans to bring back a similar display, they are looking forward to connecting with the community in a new way and hope their neighbors will be ready to Get Fed once the doors open. 
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Kristin Pazulski has been a renaissance faire wench, a reporter, an espresso-shot slinger, an editor of a newspaper for the homeless and a grant writer. She's now a freelance writer covering Denver's restaurant scene.
Contact: Kristin Pazulski