ChoLon Modern Asian chef-partner Lon Symensma and executive chef Becca Henry are eating their way across Southeast Asia right now, on a culinary R&D excursion intended to inspire the team and arm them with new ideas to bring back to the Front Range. Why now, when popular ChoLon has been open for nine years? Because the LoDo mainstay is expanding its footprint all the way out to Stapleton’s Eastbridge Town Center. There, as of September 22, Symensma’s Concourse Restaurant Moderne will close to make way for ChoLon 2.0.
“While it is bittersweet to close Concourse,” says ChoLon Restaurant Concepts partner Christopher Davis-Massey, “we listened to our customers and the neighborhood, realizing the desire not only for an Asian concept in Stapleton, but for more access to our flagship restaurant.” ChoLon Restaurant Concepts is the group behind Concourse, ChoLon, Cho77, LeRoux, and, until its March closure, BorraCho Tacos on South Broadway.
Architect Adam Steinbach of Unum Collaborative will renovate the Concourse interior to reflect ChoLon’s look-and-feel, leaving the undulating walnut ceiling and layout of the space mainly unchanged. One immediately noticeable alteration you can expect will be the transformation of the existing coffee bar at the restaurant’s main entrance into a glass-walled dim sum production area. Guests will encounter chef Michelle Xiao and her team rolling out dough and shaping dumplings and buns as they walk into the space, just as passersby can see Tong Tong Li and Hongzheng Zhu making Symensma’s lauded French onion soup dumplings from ChoLon’s prep kitchen windows on the 16th Street Mall.
Henry will lead the kitchen at ChoLon Modern Asian Stapleton, working with Xiao and Symensma to create an expanded dim sum program (which will also appear at ChoLon LoDo) and tweak the flagship menu to include more wok-style dishes—like the beloved Brussels sprouts with ground pork—that will appeal to Stapleton families. Standard bearers such as the French onion soup dumplings will, of course, be on the menu, but there may also be kid-friendly dishes like mac-and-cheese dumplings with Asian ketchup.
ChoLon Modern Asian Stapleton (10195 E. 29th Drive) is expected to open in November, starting with daily dinner service and happy hour specials. Lunch and brunch will follow.