Let’s start with the good news: seven new restaurants debuted this week and one returned.
But two historic sites have closed and more closures are looming. The Bucksnort Saloon, an iconic mountain bar in Pine, has closed and is up for sale after new owners fell out with Jeffco over major septic issues; he now faces an uncertain future. And again, El Rancho in Evergreen went dark. The 74-year-old spot’s website, which became El Rancho Brewing Company in 2016, is MIA, and the phone goes unanswered…despite numerous event bookings there in June.
The list of upcoming closings in Denver also continues to grow. It includes Bonnie Brae Tavern, which closes June 25; the South Broadway location of the Copper Pot (the concept’s original founder still operates one in Aurora) and Annie’s Cafe on June 26; Provisions of Asbury on June 30; and the latest: Devour the 303 near the University of Denver, which has just announced that it will close on July 3.
Most of these closures can be attributed to pandemic-related pressures, including labor shortages and rising food prices, the effects of which continue to hit the hospitality industry hard. Yet new places continue to open.
Drink lovers have three new options: Eiskaffee, which serves ice cream alongside coffee (plus a unique German treat: spaghetti ice cream); Boba Blast, which got a new hot pink paint job at its South Broadway location; and Kwench Shave Ice and Soda Bar in Aurora. If beer is more your style, Ephemeral Rotating Taproom debuted June 18; it will host a different brewery from outside the Denver area every two to four weeks.
Nearby Five Points, Duke’s Good Sandwiches and its sister concept, Scratch Bakery and Market, debuted the same week neighboring Rosenberg’s reopened. This bagel hot spot had closed on Mother’s Day weekend when a manager walked out. Owner Josh Pollack took some time to regroup and brought it back as a take-home concept for now, “to create a more sustainable work environment for our staff while maintaining our high standards of quality in our products. and our hospitality,” according to the Rosenbergs website.
And two more spots opened this weekend, both through out-of-state operations. Bonchon now has a location in south Denver, and Torchy’s Tacos has an outpost in Lowry.
Here’s the full list of restaurants and bars opening and closing in metro Denver this week:
Restaurants and bars open this week:*
Boba Blast1559 South Broadway
bonchon3970 Buchtel Blvd.
Duke’s Good Sandwiches/Scratch Bakery and Market, 2748 Welton Street
Ephemeral rotating taproom2301 28th Avenue East
Kwench Shave Ice and Soda Bar23975 East Town Square Avenue, Aurora
Torchy Tacos63 Quebec Street North
Restaurants and bars reopening this week:*
Rosenberg Bagels725 26th Avenue East
Restaurants and bars closed this week:*
Bucksnort Saloon, 15921 Elk Creek Road, Sphinx Park/Pine
El Rancho, 29260 US-40, Evergreen
*Or earlier and not previously reported.
Know of anything we missed? E-mail [email protected].