I dined solo at Restaurant Kelly Liken just three nights ago. The space is comfortable, like a favorite relative’s living room, but refined, authentic, and warm in a way that few Vail dining establishments manage.

Seated at the bar I was accompanied by familiar friends—a small green succulent (the bar always has tiny arrangements, sometimes small flowers, to dress it up right) and a pile of roasted Marcona almonds in a petite dish. Real friends unexpectedly bellied up soon after I did, but I had planned to enjoy my time alone with a book, the ambient piano serenades, a glass of red, and an appetizer or two.

That’s always why I go to Kelly Liken—for the simple joys of great food, delightful service, and a simply perfect place to sit.

Heartbreakingly, for me and for most, this seat will soon be gone. As the season shifts from mud to summer in Vail, the tables in the Gateway Building are turning.

Kelly Liken the chef, the owner, the competitor on Iron Chef America and Top Chef, and a James Beard semifinalist, announced on Tuesday that it’s time to move on. She opened the restaurant in 2004, at the age of 27, and more than a decade later she still knows how to keep her product fresh.

“We were offered the opportunity to sell the restaurant space, which gives us the unique ability to explore new and different ways to expand our hospitality brand,” Liken says. “We are actively seeking our next adventure.”

The restaurant will close its doors after service on Saturday, May 16. A new spot, Vintage, isn’t wasting any time, with plans take over the space in June to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as late-night bites, at “approachable price points.”

Restaurant Kelly Liken is taking dinner reservations for its last week of service. Call to nab a table—and one last sticky bun sundae.

2 Vail Road, #100, Vail, 970-479-0175