While the city may be experiencing a growth spurt, this week proves that we’re also in for some growing pains. Yesterday, it was reported that a beloved Denver institution will close its doors after 34 years of service. Also, two other highly-regarded—albeit younger—local establishments will pull the plug on their operations. In other news, Chick-Fil-A is one step closer to a DIA location, despite an initial debate over the company’s perceived anti-LGBT stance. And finally, Denver gets a national nod as six local restaurants are named best places for “foodies.” Want to find out who’s included? Read on to get the scoop. 

Le Central To Close Next Week

Le Central, Katt Isbey

Photo Credit: Katt Isbey

Yesterday, Westword reported that Le Central, a restaurant known for its affordable French cuisine will close its doors on September 13. The restaurant’s owner, Robert Tournier told the Denver Post that he was approached to sell the place and is looking to retire. “The Denver market is growing and I got a valuable offer,” he said. The building, located on the busy corner of Eighth and Lincoln, has been listed for $1.4 million by Buell & Co. 

There has already been an outpouring of gratitude and sorrow that the 34-year-old institution will shutter, with many expressing fond memories of time spent at the restaurant. “My husband and I have loved this restaurant for the last 14 years,” said Virginia Rhodes on Le Central’s Facebook. “He proposed here, we had our rehearsal dinner here, in high school I went on field trips here from my french class,” 

Currently, it is scheduled to close next Sunday, but Tournier explained that he might have to close up shop sooner. “Being 65 and a grandfather with 40-plus years in the restaurant business (1 restaurateur year = 3 human years), it is time to stop,” he said in an email to his patrons. “The 13 of September should be the last day, but keep in touch. We may decide to close earlier.”

Fans of Le Central should head to the restaurant now in order to enjoy some of its classic French fare such as the mussels and frites, one of its classic and surely soon-to-be-missed offerings.

Other closings:

Work Options for Women, a downtown cafe that employed underprivileged women as a part of a work training program.

Glaze, a Congress Park restaurant known for its speciality pastries called baum cakes made from an imported Japanese oven. Currently, Glaze is the only establishment to own one in North American.

Chick-Fil-A Gets Initial Thumbs Up to Open in DIA

SOURCE: (Photo by Anya Semenoff/The Denver Post)

SOURCE: (Photo by Anya Semenoff/The Denver Post)

For the last several weeks, there has been a battle in Denver City Council about whether or not Chick-Fil-A, a popular fast-food chain known for its chicken sandwiches, will be allowed to open a location inside Denver International Airport. Opposing council members cited past comments made by the chain’s now-chief executive, Dan Cathy, against gay marriage as a reason for its potential barring. “[It’s] really, truly a moral issue on the city,” said Councilman Paul Lopez.

As of this week, opposition has been dissolved as the city council unanimously voted 5-0 in favor of permitting a new location to be built. The decision came about after the city council reviewed the company’s nondiscrimination policy which, in tandem with the state’s own nondiscrimination laws, will protect the rights of LGBT employees. 

According to the Denver Post, it is likely Chick-Fil-A will not experience any push back as it moves to full council. “I don’t have any concerns about moving this forward based on what I’ve learned in the last two weeks,” said Councilwoman Robin Kniech to the Denver Post. If all goes according to plan, the location will be open sometime early next summer.

Other openings:

1858, a restaurant located in Colorado Springs’ resort, The Broadmoor, situated at the base of Seven Falls, one of the oldest and most beautiful attractions in the Pikes Peak region.

Finn’s Manor, a hybrid indoor-outdoor food truck collective and bar located in the RiNo neighborhood.

Six Denver Restaurants Named Among Best for Foodies

Ophelias Denver

Food at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox. Photos by Glenn Ross.

OpenTable, a popular restaurant reservation website included six Denver establishments in its list of 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies. The list was pooled from more than 5 million reviews of over 20,000 restaurants, according to Denver Business Journal. OpenTable’s chief dining officer, Caroline Potter, also cited that many of those were chosen because they are “re-writing the rules of fine dining,” which follows the argument that many new restaurants are rejecting typical standards of dining. “This year’s honorees are where the culinary magic happens,” said Potter. The Colorado restaurants that were chosen include Acorn, Blackbelly Market, The Kitchen, Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, The Plimouth and The Populist.  To view the full list, go here.

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