On May 22, chef Mary Nguyen will close P17, her 11-year-old Uptown restaurant. Although unfortunate, the announcement comes with a silver lining: Nguyen is expanding Olive & Finch, her popular fast-casual eatery located a half a block away.

For Nguyen, the transition is bittersweet. ”Olive & Finch was so well-received right out of the gate, and people were just so excited about it,” she says. As a result, she’s decided to bet on that concept for expansion. Currently, she’s looking at opening three or four metro Denver locations as well as outposts in Boulder and Fort Collins over the next few years. While she wasn’t necessarily ready to say goodbye to P17, she knows that she wouldn’t be able to give that chef-driven spot the attention it deserves while also growing two-year-old Olive & Finch. “I give kudos to people who can open up multiple concepts like that, I’m just not one of them. As a working mother with twin babies at home, I had to make some conscious decisions in my life to be 100 percent present.”

The second location of O&F is slated to roll out in Cherry Creek this fall, and with it, Nguyen plans to debut a slew of new entrées, all for under $15. The much-lauded pastry program is also going to expand, thanks to the fact that Nguyen and her team will have more space to work with. “We’re brining and roasting all the meats and making all the pastries and sauces from scratch in shoebox right now” she says.

In the meantime, head over to P17 over for a goodbye hurrah. Over the next 10 days, you’ll find Nguyen in the kitchen cooking customer favorites from year’s past (tuna tacos, calamari, short ribs). And don’t miss the final farewell brunch party on May 22, replete with an all-day buffet and a bottomless vodka and mimosa bar for $45 per person.

1600 E. 17th St., 303-399-0988

Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin is a writer living in Westminster, and has been covering food and sustainability in the Centennial State for more than five years.