In summer 2009, one of the first (of many) ampersand restaurants opened in Denver. Colt & Gray put pig trotters on the menu, and it was the coolest thing we’d seen. It was called a gastropub, melding eating and drinking, high and low, into a single, gutsy concept that would spark a slew of others over the next decade and earn it many accolades, including recurring spots on 5280’s 25 Best Restaurants list.

But a decade is a long time in the restaurant business, and chef Nelson Perkins’s Colt & Gray, along with its downstairs speakeasy Ste. Ellie and in-house butcher/curing shop Viande, will close on December 21.

“Long story short, our lease was up and it was just too expensive,” Perkins says. “When we moved in there, we were getting tax credits to be there because nobody else was sure what to do with it. I love the neighborhood, but I can’t say it’s changed for the better. When your rent doubles over a year and nobody can park on the street, it’s not a great scenario.”

In June 2010, 5280 restaurant reviewer Shari Caudron gave Colt & Gray a 3-star review, writing that “Colt & Gray is the kind of place where one doesn’t just dine, one experiences the meal. This is a place where each dish and drink subtly demands your attention and generates a response.”

Your last chance to experience Colt & Gray will be during its 11th annual Drink the Bar Dry celebration on December 21.

Another ampersand spot, Glazed & Confuzed Donuts, is also ceasing operations this month. After eight years of frying up bacon maple syrup and white chocolate coconut CBD doughnuts at various spots around town, G&C closed its Denver Tech Center location on November 30 and will stop serving out of its Stanley Marketplace stall on December 31.

“After 8 years we have decided to shut down the fryers,” owner Josh Schwab posted on Glazed & Confuzed’s Facebook page. “Sad to say that the time has come and we are closing down the donut shop. We have worked our buns off to get these donuts to you every morning but sometimes you gotta know when to throw in the towel. Waking up every day at the wee hours in the morning gets to you after a while and we just can’t do it anymore…Thanks everyone for making these past 8 years some of the best of my life.”

Allyson Reedy
Allyson Reedy
Allyson Reedy is a freelance writer and ice cream fanatic living in Broomfield.