Landry's CEO makes a bid for McCormick & Schmick's -- including McCormick's Fish House

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McCormick's Fish House & Bar stays in the LoDo swim.
Denver could soon be awash in places owned by Landry's Restaurants. On Monday, Tilman Fertitta, chairman and CEO of Landry's (who has a 10.1 percent ownership of the company, according to the Houston Chronicle), made an all-cash offer for the McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants chain worth more than $137 million.

The Portland, Oregon-based McCormick & Schmick's has 96 restaurants, including two in Denver: the McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant in the Tech Center, and the beloved McCormick's Fish House & Bar in the Oxford Hotel. That restaurant took over the corner space in the historic hotel even before the Lower Downtown Historic District was born, and over the past twenty-plus years, it's become legendary for its $1 Irish coffee on snow days, great happy-hour deals, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and all-around bonhomie.

This isn't Fertitta's only move that's affected local restaurants. Last fall, he bought the Claim Jumper restaurant chain (the Park Meadows Claim Jumper location closed), and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (the Bubba Shrimp across from the Colorado Convention Center is very much open). Landry's Restaurants also now owns the Oceanaire downtown, along with a number of other local links in national chains, as well as the Denver-specific Downtown Aquarium and Simms Steakhouse.

But it's the possibility that the LoDo McCormick's might change that has fans of that place all at sea. Still, even if Fertitta's offer goes through, that space should be in good hands: Sage Hospitality, which owns the Oxford, recognizes the importance of putting a good bar/restaurant into a hotel -- as it's shown with the Corner Office and Second Home.

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