Dec 21, 2021 - Food and Drink

Food chain: A delicious Denver dining dispatch

Boulder's Basta pop-up with chef Brian Lockwood
A plate from chef Brian Lockwood's pop-up at Boulder's Basta. Photo: Jeff Fierberg

Wrapping up all the year-end happenings in the Colorado restaurant scene, we give you the deliciously good along with the heartburn-inducing headlines you need to know about your favorite dining destinations and more.

  • A leadership dispute, an expired liquor license and a restraining order are threatening to keep Bonfire Brewing shuttered in Eagle. The brewery is looking for a future after the death of co-founder Andy Jessen in an avalanche earlier this year. 
  • Brian Lockwood — formerly of Eleven Madison Park, the French Laundry and Boulder's Frasca — will end his seasonal residency at Basta with a five-course, Israeli-inspired menu, on Dec. 31, the chef tells Axios.
    • A portion of the proceeds from each meal go to Sophie's Neighborhood, a nonprofit started by local chef Hosea Rosenberg.
Chefs Hosea Rosenberg and Brian Lockwood
Chefs Hosea Rosenberg and Brian Lockwood. Photo: Jeff Fierberg
  • The Cole neighborhood got a new addition with the debut of Yacht Club, which fancies itself as "a nerdy cocktail bar, a natural wine bar, a(n) (expletive) dive bar," at least according to its menu.
  • Two-year-old FlyteCo Brewing is taking its name to heart by opening a second location inside the former Stapleton Airport control tower, which previously housed a Punch Bowl Social.
  • Broadway's Bar 404, built in 1929 and opened the day after Prohibition ended in 1933, returned to the scene Dec. 15 with a full food and drink menu and live entertainment courtesy of the two former owners of Inga's Alpine Tavern.
  • After closing due to COVID, chef Lon Symensma's French eatery, newly dubbed Bistro LeRoux, reopened last Friday in LoDo, between his other restaurants, ChoLon and YumCha Dumpling and Noodle Bar.
Bistro LeRoux
Bistro LeRoux. Photo: Matt Nager/ChoLon Restaurant Concepts
  • Chef Tajahi Cooke hopes to help chefs with a new residency program called the Chef Kitchen. During month-long residencies, cooks will have the opportunity to experiment with their culinary creations along with mentorship and financial support.
  • The brains behind Third Culture's doughy mochi muffins are calling it quits in Colorado at the end of this year, citing falling sales, "a lot of racist behavior and confrontational behavior in addition to pandemic stresses."
  • The annual "Shock and Claus" holiday breakfast, which has surprised Colorado restaurant staffers with tips since 2015, made its appearance in early December at an Aurora IHOP when a group of eight diners tipped their server $1,200 after eating at the East Colfax Avenue spot.
  • Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection, has unveiled its reimagined Bad Harriet, the property's hot speakeasy nestled beneath the historic Aspen Times building.
  • Bar Louie is revealing its first-ever brand redesign here in Denver at its location in the Shops at Northfield, featuring new colors, lighting and furniture.
  • Even after a small group of employees launched a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of establishing co-ownership of the small-town Minturn Saloon — beloved by skiers, snowboarders and locals — the restaurant remains on the market.
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