chef alex grenier at mercantile

A Plate Full of News Bites: May 24

Find out the latest on what’s happening in the restaurant industry

BY Linnea Covington


May has sneakily come towards the end, and with Memorial Day looming large, it’s safe to say summer is here. 

Also here is chef Alex Grenier (photo above), the newest addition to the team at Mercantile Dining & Provision in Union Station. In fact, Grenier, who recently served as executive chef at Welton Room, has accepted the executive chef position at Alex Seidel’s 2023 MICHELIN Guide recommended restaurants. We can’t wait to see where he takes the 10-year-old restaurant.

Speaking of 10 years, May, 2024 marks the tin anniversary of Nuggs Ice Cream in Park Hill. Other anniversaries to note, Sắp sửa turned one, which feels crazy given it already won over so many stomachs. Hasn’t it been here for years? We expect another great run from the wife and husband chef team, Anna and Ni Nguyen, as they continue to bring a modern approach to Vietnamese food paired with great wine. 

sap sua
The shrimp cake at sắp sửa should be had any time it’s available. | Photo by Linnea Covington

On the rotten side of the plate, The Brutal Poodle got robbed on Monday morning. According to the Go Fund Me page setup to help the South Broadway pub, over $7,000 in tips and restaurant funds were taken. But there is a positive side. Loyal Denver fans once again stepped up and have given over $10,000 to help the restaurant recover. Donations are still being accepted here

The future of the Palace Arms restaurant and bar inside the Brown Palace Hotel & Spa has been a bit rocky. Over the last few weeks management toggled between closing the venue indefinitely and reopening it. Dubbed a “dining museum,” thanks to layers of Napoleonic-era antiques and pictures, the venue has served guests since 1950. Now it appears to be back on track and accepting reservations via OpenTable again after announcing its closure due to a lack of business earlier in the month.

Catching up with another big news bite, to-go alcohol is here to stay. On May 10, Senate Bill 24-020, sponsored by Sens. Dylan Roberts and Nick Hinrichsen and Reps. William Lindstedt and Rose Pugliese, passed. This permanently allows restaurants to sell alcohol and alcoholic drinks for takeout and delivery. That means if you want another margarita but have reached the limit for driving, you can order it to take home. 

Gayle's Texas BBQ plates of food and meat
Head to Millpost Zero for barbecue. | Photo by Gayle’s Texas BBQ

Hopefully this will help just-opened restaurants thrive too. Speaking of, the Ballpark area got a new barbecue joint in the form of Gayle’s Texas BBQ at Milepost Zero. Brought to you by Blaine Baggao, owner of the Filipino-Mexican restaurant Adobo in Highland, meat fiends can fill up on brisket, chicken wings, green chili sausage, and more. 

Heading north, Parkway Food Hall has finally opened in Longmont. The 16,000-square-foot all-day food hall hosts eight vendors including Baa Hachi, H3ersh3r, Pie Dog, Cleaver & Co, Chile con Quesadilla, Spice Fusion, Shawarma Shack, and HipPOPs handcrafted gelato bars. Plus, a full-service bar. More on that in a feature next week.

New life has been breathed into 3901 Fox St. After five years of remaining empty, the old Crafty Fox Taphouse + Pizzeria spot will finally have a new tenant. We aren’t sure the opening date, but Capri Seafood and Bar has signed the lease for the 5,700-square-foot spot. 

eat'yo pizza serves roman style pies
Get Roman-style pizza downtown at chef Nick Kayser’s new joint. | Photo by Eat’Ya Pizza

Also taking over a former restaurant space, chef Nick Kayser opened the doors Eat’Ya Pizza in the historic Sugar Building downtown. The spot used to house Sofia’s Roman Pizza. Kayser has a similar model for his joint, with Roman-style pies by the slice as the feature item. The limited menu also showcases wings, sandwiches, and cannoli soft serve with pistachios, chocolate chips, and mascarpone. Unfortunately, he also announced the closure of his Highland eatery, Rooted Craft American Kitchen, a few weeks ago. 

As for other losses. El Chingon suddenly shuddered due to unpaid taxes. Based on letters from the Colorado Department of Revenue stuck on the door, the restaurant owes the government $43,934.02. Owner Lorenzo Nunez Jr. is working to get everything sorted and El Chignon open again. We also lost the poke hotspot Turtle Boat, which closed after seven years on South Broadway. 

To ease the pain of these closings, keep in mind many restaurants are thriving. Right now we are seeing a lot of new spring greens on the menu, with an emphasis on peas. At Dio Mio this means a tri tip steak with spring pea ravioli, blanched peas, and shaved carrots. Fruition added an Alaskan halibut with carrot butter, and English peas. Then at Woodie Fisher Kitchen and Bar, chef Franco Ruiz launched a delectable medley of garganelli pasta with roasted morel mushrooms, English pea, ramp pesto, and roasted tomato. 

dio mio spring pasta
A glimpse at the new spring dish. | Photo by Dio Mio

For the non-pea fan, head to Coperta for the fresh spring greens salad with radish, asparagus, black olive vinaigrette, and buffalo milk taleggio. On the drink side, cheers to the long weekend coming up by heading to Alma Fonda Fina to try the new Hibiscus Margarita and/or the Pineapple Sour.

We are eager to see what chef Russell Stippich does as the chef de cuisine at the forthcoming Osteria Alberico, run by Frasca Hospitality Group. The chef leaves his executive chef position at Bar Dough, which he’s had since 2020, in order to make the move. No word yet who will take his place, nor the exact opening day of the new restaurant. We do know it’s supposed to launch soon in Englewood’s Kent Place, the group’s first venture that far south.

On a sad note, chefs and restaurant owners from around the country came to Post Chicken & Beer in LoHi to pay homage to Amos Watts, owner of The Fifth String. The chef passed suddenly at the end of April. He was just 43-years-old, and it was a shock and a loss to the community. Read more about this wonderful man here, we sure miss him.

Make sure to come back next week for another plate of edible news. Please send any newsy tips too, you can reach us by emailing

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Linnea Covington

Linnea Covington is the managing editor of DiningOut. She comes to us with a long background in food, restaurant and drinks journalism. Over the last two decades she’s written for tons of publications including Denver Post, Washington Post, Forbes Travel Guide, 5280 Magazine, New York Magazine, New York Times, Time Out New York and more.