A month and a half isn’t the longest lead time for a restaurant to announce its closure, but it should be enough for fans to get a seat for one last meal.
Such is the case at Beast + Bottle, a Denver restaurant that has served real farm-to-table food over the past eight years from an intimate dining room along 17th Avenue.
Owners and siblings Paul and Aileen Reilly and JP Taylor Jr., Aileen’s husband, announced this week that they’ll close Beast + Bottle after service on Saturday, June 5.
“We have known that this day has been coming, but we weren’t exactly sure when it might land, especially because COVID threw an odd wrench,” Paul Reilly said.
Reilly said his original Denver restaurant is closing because the building has sold and will be torn down and redeveloped — along with a neighboring salon, the former Tony P’s and a building around the corner on Clarkson. But it has nothing to do with COVID-19, he says.
Beast + Bottle stayed closed during much of the pandemic, though. In late November, the restaurant began a “winter hibernation” that only just ended in mid-April as the Reillys and Taylor secured a second round of PPP funding and were able to reopen again.
So they contacted all of their old staff and explained the circumstances — that the restaurant would be back only until the extended lease ran out — and everyone agreed to come back to work, Reilly said.
“We see the next five weeks as kind of a celebration, and not a funeral, for everything that we’ve accomplished here and everyone that’s joined us along the way for the ride.”
Along with preparing the bounty of the spring season, cooking Colorado lamb and pork from local farms, the restaurant team will continue looking for a new home for Beast + Bottle. But they’re not convinced they’ll find the right spot.
“(Beast + Bottle) is very much of its place. It’s intimate, it’s romantic,” Reilly said. “In order for us to carry on the name, we think it would have to match that. But that’s not to say that we won’t have another really farm-focused concept, it just maybe won’t be called Beast + Bottle.”
So customers can plan to dine in through June 5. They can also still visit the Reillys’ other restaurant, Coperta, down the road. And maybe Beast + Bottle will be back, or maybe it will evolve.
“I think we opened at a very lucky time,” Reilly said. “Denver was hungry for a concept like this when we opened, and we are just so so grateful for how those last eight years have gone. It’s a shame we have to close this chapter for now. But we’re hoping it’s a ‘see you soon’ as opposed to a ‘goodbye.’”
719 E. 17th Ave., 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday (until June 5), 303-623-3223, beastandbottle.com
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