Aside from a freak snowstorm on September 8, September turned out to be a great month for Denver restaurants, as the weather mostly cooperated to keep patios full and diners out at their favorite spots. And many newcomers decided to make the leap into the business, whether lured by vacant real estate or still committed after months of planning and construction during a pandemic.
Regardless of the reasons, the number of openings last month looked similar to what we might have seen during the booming economy of 2019 rather than what we were expecting in the midst of a difficult year of stay-at-home orders and COVID-related restaurant restrictions.
One notable loss was Acorn, which drew nearly instant acclaim when it was opened in 2013 at The Source by restaurateur Bryan Dayton and chef Steve Redzikowski. The closure of what had been a very successful eatery is evidence that high-end restaurants rely on operating at full capacity to cover the high costs of food, labor and real estate that come with equally high customer expectations. The Michelin Guide, one of the most thorough trackers of the world’s best restaurants, shines a light on the difficulties of running a luxury restaurant during the pandemic: As of September 20, only 29 of the 209 Michelin-starred restaurants in the U.S. (none of which are in Colorado) had reopened since closing at the beginning of the pandemic last spring.
Openings in September included three Asian-Cajun seafood restaurants — Clawful, the Crab House and Crawling Crab II — as well as a number of ghost kitchens and takeout-only concepts at existing eateries. Burger joints, coffeehouses and hard-to-find global cuisines, from Burmese to South Indian, also cropped up.
Here’s our complete list of restaurant and bar openings and closings in September 2020:
Seafood specialist Manzo Lobster & Oyster Bar was one of September’s openings.
Restaurants and Bars Opening in September*
3 Margaritas (previously Paramount Cafe), 519 16th Street
6 and 40 Brewery, 883 Parfet Street, Lakewood
Brasserie Boulder (at Cafe Aion), 1235 Pennsylvania Avenue, Boulder
Clawful, 1862 South Wadsworth Boulevard, Lakewood
The Crab House (previously Smashburger), 3299-B South Broadway
Crawling Crab II (previously Great Wall Chinese Buffet), 3215 South Wadsworth Boulevard, Lakewood
The Filling Station Tap House, 3242 South Acoma Street, Englewood
Graves Good Burger (at Zeppelin Station), 3501 Wazee Street
Hatched Fried Chicken (takeout and delivery,) 3501 South Broadway, Englewood
Illegal Pete’s Park Hill (previously Desmond), 2230 Oneida Street
Keto World Kitchen, 9447 Park Meadows Drive, Lone Tree
Koba Korean Cuisine (previously Crave Real Burgers), 1550 Blake Street
Kuma’s Corner, 3500 Delgany Street
Little Farmer (at Urban Farmer), 1637 Wazee Street
Madras Cafe (previously Purple Orchid), 5422 South Parker Road, Aurora
Madurai Mes (previously Little Anita’s), 6882 South Yosemite Street, Greenwood Village
Manzo Lobster & Oyster Bar (Previously Marg’s Taco Bistro), 500 East 19th Avenue
My Neighbor Felix (previously Marcella’s), 1801 Central Street
Noodles Express (previously Rubio’s), 703 South Colorado Boulevard
On & Off (previously Gallop Cafe), 2401 West 32nd Avenue
Pho & Bar (previously Jack’s Uptown Grill), 1600 East 17th Avenue
The Radiator Cafe & Bar (previously Common Grounds), 2139 West 44th Avenue
Raising Cane’s, 3609 Wadsworth Boulevard, Wheat Ridge
Snacktacular, Delivery only
Taw Win Burmese Food, 1120 Yosemite Street
Vinca, 8001 Arista Place, Broomfield
Restaurants Reopening in September
The Budlong Hot Chicken (moved from Zeppelin Station), 81 South Pennsylvania Street
Crave Coffee Roasters (new ownership), 5322 DTC Boulevard, Greenwood Village
Mint & Serif (moved from 11500 West Colfax Avenue), 7310 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Acorn is now closed after seven years at the Source.
Restaurants and Bars Temporarily Closing in September
Earnest Hall, 2915 West 44th Avenue
Restaurants and Bars Closing in September*
Acorn, 3350 Brighton Boulevard
Alternation Brewing, 1539 South Broadway
American Cultures Kombucha Taproom, 3233 Tejon Street
Daz Bog, 501 West 12th Avenue
Periodic Brewing, Leadville and Northglenn locations
*Or earlier, and not previously reported.
Do you know of any restaurant openings or closings that aren’t on our list? Let us know in the comments, or send an email to [email protected].