New Denver restaurants open this week, May 14-20

As the pressures of staff shortages, rising costs and other challenges of running a restaurant during a pandemic continue, restaurant closures – temporary and permanent – ​​are on the rise. This week we learned of three upcoming closures: Blue Ocean/Little Chengdu, To the Wind and Freshcraft, all of which will close by the end of the month.

Acres, which opened in Englewood in 2015, has been closed for some time; while its website still says it’s temporarily closed, an “available” notice on the building is a (literal) sign that Acres is gone for good. Also to the south, Smokin’ Dave’s closed its Arapahoe Road outpost in Centennial, though its Denver location on Cortez Street as well as two locations in Estes Park and others in Longmont and Lyon remain open.

The original location of Rosenberg’s Bagels at Five Points has been closed since Mother’s Day, with staff listed as the primary factor. A reopening date has not yet been announced – although when it returns, prepared bagels, including sandwiches and those covered in cream cheese, will no longer be on the menu. But it’s business as usual at Rosenberg’s other locations in Boulder and Stanley Marketplace.

Handsome Boys Hospitality has stayed busy — the group just opened putt-putt party bar RiNo Country Club and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-themed Casey Jones Bar and Pizzeria. But his Telephone Pub in Lakewood remains closed. The tavern opened last December under a special events permit, says owner Josh Schmitz, and the group hoped to have a permanent liquor license when that permit expired. But in Lakewood, that process can take up to seven months, he notes: “We’re looking at being closed for another month or so before reopening.”

Click to enlarge

Juan Pablo Llano (left), Michael Graunke and Esteban Gallardo opened Pit Fiend in Owlbear’s former home on May 20.

Evan Semon

It’s not all pessimistic, however. There are six openings to report, including Pit Fiend, a new barbecue that opened in the former Owlbear space at RiNo. Two of the three owners were former Owlbear cooks, and a colleague who died during Owlbear’s last business weekend in January is a big inspiration for the new team.

And a longtime local favorite also got a fresh start this week. Front Range Inn, which was built in Lakewood in the 1930s, had been closed since early 2021. Brother-and-sister duo Kevin Carpanini and Jen Rugh bought the place and reopened May 20 — just in time to be a go-to spot for Red Rocks concert-goers before and after shows.

In other openings and closings news:

Here is the full list of restaurants and bars opening and closing this week:

Click to enlarge The Five Points Rosenberg location is temporarily closed and changes are coming when it reopens.  - FROM HIP PICTURE

The Five Points Rosenberg location is temporarily closed and changes are coming when it reopens.

From the hip photo

Restaurants and bars open this week:*

Flamboyant Bird, 13700 East Colfax Ave, Aurora
Field and Forest, 415 South Cherokee Street
Front Range Inn, 7779 Morrison Road, Lakewood
PitFiend, 2826 Larimer St.
Pure Green, 681 East Louisiana Avenue
Raising Cane’s, 5060 South Wadsworth Boulevard, Lakewood

Restaurants and bars temporarily closed this week:*

Rosenberg Bagels and Deli, 725 East 26th Avenue
Telephone Pub, 7260 West Alaska Drive

Restaurants and bars closed this week:*

Acres, 3999 South Broadway
Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ & Brew, 7685 East Arapahoe Road, Centennial

*Or earlier and not previously reported.

Know of anything we missed? E-mail [email protected].

About James Almanza

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