Some culinary addresses in the Mile High City just can’t seem to hold down a tenant. Here, five of Denver’s unluckiest restaurant locations.
—Photo illustration by John Ueland
295 S. Pennsylvania St.
Grey Cactus Cocina Y Bar
Currently: Telegraph Neighborhood Bistro & Bar
The longest tenant—Café Bar, purveyor of seasonal American fare—of this building northwest of Washington Park lasted three years. Grey Cactus barely made it four months. Current tenant Telegraph, however, shows some promise: Owner Chris Sargent has already figured out the formula for success at his popular West Highland eatery, Brazen.
2200 Market St.
Otto’s American Grill
Currently: i-Fish & Ramen
As the Ballpark neighborhood exploded, restaurant owners in this developing area struggled to get a feel for what diners wanted. But they seem to have found it with i-Fish & Ramen, which has stayed put for five years under the guidance of a sushi pro who emigrated from Myanmar.
1480 Arapahoe St.
Hickory Prime Steakhouse
Currently: Reunion Gastro Pub & Wine Bar
Steak-house fatigue might be the problem here. Downtown doesn’t seem to need another steak joint—unless it comes from one of the biggest names in Denver’s dining scene (ahem, Troy Guard’s Guard and Grace). Reunion Gastro Pub, the current occupant of six months, specializes in fancy pizzas and burgers—probably a wise detour.
250 Josephine St.
Go Fish Grille
Juicy Lucy’s Steakhouse
Currently: For Rent
Blame it on the sky-high rents (retail property goes for upward of $25 per square foot), the lack of parking, the awkward location, or an honest-to-goodness hex, but one thing is clear: This Cherry Creek spot cannot hold down a long-term tenant. Its latest victim? Three-year-old Opus, which shuttered in December.
1512 Curtis St.
Ocean Palace Chinese restaurant
Victory American Grill and Bar
Le Grand Bistro
Currently: Baur’s Restaurant and Listening Lounge
The plague on this Theatre District location is relatively recent. Constructed in 1881, this building housed O.P. Baur Confectionery Co. and expanded with Baur’s restaurant in 1918. After both shut down in 1970, the venue changed hands eight times. Its difficulties might arise from the large space’s awkwardly divided layout—or it might be a casualty of a fickle theater crowd.
*Full disclosure: A legal action brought by this magazine in 2009 led to 5280 Steakhouse changing its name.