As has become an all-too familiar story, Encore owners and siblings Paul and Aileen Reilly announced on Friday that failed lease negotiations forced the restaurant’s closure. But the Reillys didn’t go silently: They served huge crowds Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with patrons flooding through the doors to show their support. I went for their last service—Sunday brunch—and the Colfax eatery was on a 90-minute wait. The first thing to sell out: The legendary bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers.

The five-year-old Encore (which the Reillys purchased in 2010) has become more than a restaurant, it has become a community gathering spot and a platform for chef Paul’s creative, sometimes tongue-in-cheek seasonal American cuisine.

The good news: The Reillys have been shopping locations (including the former JR’s space on 17th Avenue) for as long as a year and will be back in business. I just hope it’s soon. In the meantime, I had my fill of the fantastic thin-cut fries with hot mustard drizzle (pictured) yesterday.

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