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Somehow we’re already halfway through 2021, even if the scars from 2020 still remain. It’s been a little over a month since all dining restrictions were lifted in Denver, and now other challenges – like the soaring cost of items like gloves and the New York strips served at Pete’s Kitchen, which recently opened for everyone Night shifts reopened on weekends – delaying openings and even forcing some places, like FNG, to close temporarily.
The past month has also seen more painful closings, including Falling Rock, the iconic ballpark craft beer destination, and Uptown’s popular Beast + Bottle. But there is also good news to celebrate.
Our full list of openings in 2020 included 197 stationary facilities, an impressive number considering the hurdles owners and operators have faced over the past year. In the first half of 2021 alone, we saw 128 new store openings, 28 of them in June alone – and there are no signs that this trend is slowing.
From Evergreen to McGregor Square, Coors Field’s new destination, new restaurants are springing up all over the subway. While there are plenty of local, independent additions to the list like Campfire, Stoney’s Cantina, and the pandemic-born Instagram hit Right Cream, there are out-of-state chains also making big strides, like Giordano’s now in the South Opened Broadway space once occupied by Leña and New York City’s Colorado debut hit the Halal Guys in Aurora.
It’s all about balance, however, and while we’d hate it if the streets of Denver were filled with bright, glowing signs from brands founded elsewhere, the fact that these companies are coming to the area speaks well for the national Reputation of this city. But we count on our local culinary talents to continue to rise to the challenge of innovating and creating quality food that dwarfs the rest.
The Deviled Eggs at Stoney’s Cantina are treated the street corn style.
Here is our full list of Metro Denver openings and closings in June 2021:
Restaurants and bars open this month *:
Campfire, 27883 Meadow Drive, Evergreen
Carmine’s in McGregor Square, 1951 Wazee Street
Cupbop, 3452 West 32nd Avenue and 7450 West 52nd Avenue, Unit C, Arvada
Dating Yummy, 12203 East Iliff Avenue, Suite D, Aurora
Dochi, 2449 Larimer Strasse
The Donut Club, 7302 East 29th Avenue
Eat a Lot Que, 10330 West 85th Drive Unit 103, Arvada
Exile Kitchen, 320 East Colfax Avenue
Giordanos, 24 Broadway
Gruvi Tasting Lounge (summer pop-up), 1455 South Pearl Street
The Halal Guys, 14535 East Alameda Avenue, Suite D, Aurora
Heaven Creamery, 299 Milwaukee Street and 6955 South York Street, # 420, Centennial
HiLo, 10125 West San Juan Way, Littleton
JackBeQue, 200 Inverness Drive West, Englewood
Jet’s Pizza, 98 Wadsworth Boulevard, Suite 129, Lakewood
La Diabla Pozole y Mezcal, 2233 Larimer Street
Los Chingones, 3541 East Harmony Road, # 100, Fort Collins
Lost City at Avanti Boulder, 1401 Pearl Street, Boulder
Mississippi Boy Catfish & Ribs, 5544 East 33rd Avenue
Moods. Blows. Potions., 2844 Welton Street
Pass burgers, food trucks, Castle Rock
Pizza 3.14, 1313 College Avenue, Boulder
Right Cream, 3047 Larimer Street
Open ‘n Bubbler at Edgewater Public Market, 5505 West 20th Avenue, Edgewater
Old Town Hot Pot, 2852 South Havana Street, Aurora
Snooze AM Eatery, Concourse B, Mezzanine, Denver International Airport
Stoney’s Cantina, 30 South Broadway
Tom’s Watch Bar, 1601 19th Street, Unit 101
Urban Egg, 3033 East First Avenue
X Denver, 3100 Inca Street
Bubu, 1099 18th Street
Restaurants and bars * close this month:
Beast + Bottle, 719 East 17th Avenue
Ernst Hall, 2915 West 44th Avenue
Falling Rock, 1919 Blake Street
Morin, 1600 15th Street
Uncle Zoe’s, 12203 East Iliff Avenue, Suite D, Aurora
Vinue Food and Wine Bar, 2817 East Third Avenue
* Or earlier and not yet included in an opening and closing list.
Do you know of anything we missed? Email us at [email protected]
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Molly Martin is Westword’s Food & Drink Editor. She has been writing about the Denver dining scene since 2013 and has eaten her way around town long before that, enjoying long walks to the nearest burrito and spending the nights on Colfax with cocktails.