Argyll will close in Cherry Creek on Sunday -- and reopen next year in the Baker District

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Lori Midson
Argyll, a restaurant that we have loved, stalked and ballyhooed since it opened in Cherry Creek in 2009 -- it was our Best New Restaurant pick in the 2010 Best of Denver -- has, for quite a while, been one of the only reasons to actually make the trek to a relatively lethargic 'hood that was once one of Denver's most vibrant dining-out enclaves.

But over the past few years, Cherry Creek North has lost much of its luster; it's a neighborhood that's gone sluggish, where the streets are all but desolate by 10 p.m., and vodka martinis -- not craft beers or cocktails -- are still the drink du jour. Spaces like the original Chinook Tavern (it's since reopened in the Tech Center) and Prime 121 have both sat vacant for more than three years; the dormant Tambien hasn't found a tenant, either.

And Robert Thompson, who owns Argyll, the subterranean gastropub at 2700 East Third Avenue, isn't particularly thrilled with the dynamics of the neighborhood -- so he's closing Argyll immediately after brunch service on Sunday.

But before your eyes pop out of their sockets, take solace: He's got two more restaurants on the horizon -- Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar, which will open in the Baur's Ristorante space at 1512 Curtis Street at the end of August, and Punch Bowl/Social Food and Drink, which will open in the Baker District in mid-November.

And that's not all: He plans to relocate Argyll to the Baker District, just a few blocks from Punch Bowl, where it will open at an undisclosed address in April or May of 2012. "I do not believe in Cherry Creek as a dining neighborhood, and it's definitely not a neighborhood that Argyll speaks to, so I'm taking Argyll to the Baker neighborhood, which is a neighborhood that does speak to us," explains Thompson. Diners in Cherry Creek, he continues, "would rather go to Houston's three nights a week -- they think it's consistent -- than go to Argyll for creativity and unique quality."

Argyll, he admits, isn't for everyone. But Thompson says that he -- and his staff -- "refuse to work this hard for average results." And, he adds, he's sick and tired of reading online reviews from the masses panning his location: "There are so many reviews, both on Opentable and on Yelp, that start with people saying that they finally made it to Argyll after they heard so many good things about us -- even though it's in Cherry Creek." Argyll's customers, notes Thompson, "don't want to come to Cherry Creek, so we're going to them."

The new buildout, erected on a 6,000-square-foot-plus parcel of land, will be two-tiered and have a large courtyard, and the mixology program, promises Thompson, will rival anything we've seen in Denver. "This is going to be a much boozier Argyll, and we're definitely taking the mixology program to a much higher level, and that includes bringing in a corporate mixologist who's local and incredibly talented," Thompson tells me.

As for Argyll's kitchen creations, not much will change there. "The menu will stay the same in spirit -- but it's always evolving," he says. "Essentially, it's going to be the same Argyll, just with an enhanced mixology program, an amazing courtyard and a different address."

Thompson informed his employees of the change earlier this week, and he's offered all of them -- every single one -- jobs at Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar. "If they want it, they've all been asked to join the team there," he says.

In the meantime, if you're like us and want to get one last Argyll fix before it goes dark, you'd better get there soon.

Location Info

Argyll - CLOSED

2700 E. 3rd Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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37 comments
BJN136
BJN136

Who is Lori Midson andwhere does she get her information? Cherry Creek North is thriving, more than ever! My favorite part is “Before your eyes pop out of theirsockets…”.  For most of us, our eyesremained intact and focused on the fact that Argyll's failure to succeed is due to their menu andprices...yes, even for CCN. Just as 'kvillegas' said, the location didn’t fitits vibe.

I’m glad the drink of choice is the martini (as is mine) overthe draft beer. You can keep your beer pubs in the hood. Cherry Creek North isan eclectic mix of people and some of us get it and love it as-is.

Who is Lori Midson and where does she get her information?Cherry Creek North is thriving, more so than ever! My favorite part is “before your eyespop out of their sockets…”.  For most ofus, our eyes remained intact and focused on the fact that Argyll'sfailure to succeed is due to their menu and prices...yes, even for CCN. Just as'kvillegas' said, the location didn’t fit its vibe. By the way, I’m glad thedrink of choice is the martini (as is mine) over the draft beer. You can keepyour beer pubs in the hood. Cherry Creek North is an eclectic mix of people andsome of us get it and love it as-is.

Lori Midson
Lori Midson

I'm the runt of the litter, and I get my information from the Home Shopping Network, usually at 3 a.m., while drinking a draft beer and stretching my eye sockets so I don't miss the latest and greatest gizmo.

Jones21
Jones21

I liked Argyll it is a fine restaurant and really did revitalize a downturn in CCN dining.  My biggest complaint with a "foodie" restaurant that wants to be orginal and creative start with getting rid of the fake flowers and herbs that you have as decoration for you rnew spot.  Also, I agree try to get staff that really does work.  Best of luck 

hhmmmmm
hhmmmmm

I don't remember anybody saying that Argyll wasn't succeeding.  The way I read it they are getting the fuck out of CCN while the getting is good BEFORE they stop succeeding. Cherry Creek is dead.  When the streets are empty 6 nights a week at 10pm, this really isn't a debatable point.  Baker is hot and everybody know it; but maybe you've had a couple too many olive martinis to notice.  Try a craft cocktail of rye whisky with fresh squeezed juices or with house made tonic in a progressive neighborhood sometime - they won't go to your head so quickly.  

Cherry Creek Grill charges $12 for a veggie burger.  I'm sorry, but that's expensive for pressed veggies.  I had a $9 hamburger at Argyll one month ago.  Unless they've gone through a radical change in the past 4 weeks, that seems about right for a hamburger and fries.....  

Baker will eat these guys up and ask for seconds.  I know, I live here and will eat at Argyll once a week and drink there two or three times a week now that they are closer.  Watch how many restaurants turn over in the old Argyll space in the next 18 months.  You'll see then how CCN is for dining.  

Kimberly
Kimberly

I must say that when the Tattered Cover Bookstore left Cherry Creek North, the whole nature and character of the area left with it. This is another huge loss in a long line of huge losses for Cherry Creek North.

One more reason to head on over to the Baker neighborhood. Looking forward to seeing the Argyll in its new home.

We'll miss you
We'll miss you

I am going to miss Argyll in this location.  I do live in Cherry Creek but I understand why everyone is complaining about it.  It is true that the wealthy landlords have struggled to understand how to keep this neighborhood vibrant in the face of changing economic conditions.  

But back to Argyll.  I loved what they did from a design perspective with this quirky space.  It was always weird and they turned it into something beautiful.  The food has always been a treat and they brought to us a gastropub concept that, 2.5 years ago, people didn't seem to know what it was.  We continued to eat there and slowly understood what this restauranteur was trying to achieve.  Gastropubs, at least this one, became more clear to us what they were driving at.  Balanced pricing and fresh food with novel execution as opposed to frozen french fries and poppers at most other pubs.  There menu was different each time we went in which said to me that they weren't satisfied with putting out the same product for years ad nauseam like the other corporate giants in our neighborhood.  

I do live in Cherry Creek and yes, my neighborhood has changed for the worse in recent years. Now it just got a little worse without Argyll.  We're going to miss them.  We will make the short drive over to Broadway to see them in the new spot, but it won't be our little neighborhood respite anymore.  It will be somebody else's neighborhood respite.  We hope Baker takes good care of Argyll as we have tried to.  

Ms3131
Ms3131

you have residents of Cherry Creek North opposing new restaurant and club development because the noise will keep them from sleeping with their windows open in the summer!  The result a once vibrant district now with declining comercial property values in an economy that can least afford such nonsense and the city insanely denies liquor licenses to potential businesses who might locate in the area!  Its like the person who moves next to the airport and then complains about the noise!  Give me a break!

J.
J.

i can't fault the people of CC for not wanting that nightclub.  i wouldn't either.  restaurant wise, i think it is more about the rents and the fact that area's time has come and gone.

guest
guest

The funny thing is, nobody has even commented on Argyll itself. All anyone has to comment on is Cherry Creek.. which I understand! I live in Wash park and love an awesome dive bar, and I also love a good, authentic restaurant, and don't mind paying for creativeness. Yet, all I've ever gotten out of Argyll is terrible service, and a pretentious attitude from the miserable bartender that is STILL working there.. after how many complaints?? Too bad, if she only knew we work  in the business and know so many people that would actually frequent the restaurant if we ever had a good thing to say about it. After numerous failed attempts with the same horrible blonde bartender, the burger just isn't worth it! If only she "knew" we are the ones who really enjoy tipping our server above and beyond the 20% that is deemed acceptable, she might actually give us the time of day, and maybe, just maybe even ask us how we are doing.. Too bad, way too many other restaurants that actually welcome our service as apposed to sneering at us when we walk in! Moving locations won't do a thing when your service is still terrible, and such a shame when there are SO many qualified bartenders looking for work in Denver. All in all, good burger, everything else is overpriced and super stuffy.

Jessehall
Jessehall

J have to agree as well. My wife and I had to send to things back and the service was subpar. It was a sunday afternoon so maybe it Was the skank shift as far as talent in the front and back of the house. The scoamazing, however, was amazing.

Ms3131
Ms3131

couldnt agree more!  I have had a similar experience twice in a row at the Cherry Creek Grill! Like you I am a veteren of the restaurant biz and tip way over 20%.  At the Cherry Creek Grill have had pretentious snobby waitstaff  who look down their noses at you sideways if for some reason you order a iced tea at lunch instead of a cocktail!  Asked our server for a side of mayo and when she turned around she rolled her eyes!  I almost came out of my chair!  Stupid Bitch!  LOL!  Being an idiot though I didnt say anything. I protest by not going back!  The Cherry Cricket where people are friendly and food is excellent will get my biz from now on. 

sporobolus
sporobolus

the big if is the location; the implication, perhaps misleading, is that this will be a new building on a 6000 sqft lot somewhere on Broadway; that's not enough to pin it down, but there are some interesting possibilities ... 

Joey B
Joey B

Super psyched about all of the above. CCN - amazing how such a massive retail district has so little appealing food options.

sherwilliam72@yahoo.com
sherwilliam72@yahoo.com

Thats because he is disrespectful as an owner and a manager that this place will go under. He has no class. Good riddance! Food sucked and WAY overpriced!!!!!!

Jeff
Jeff

Yeah, Cherry Creek North can go fuck itself.  It's been on a rapid downward slide since Tattered Cover closed.  Houston's and Cherry Creek Grill (which are part of the same corporate assembly line), and Earl's cater to that clientele. 

Argyll absolutely belongs in Baker.  Ondo's and Machete, get out while you can!

Brotnt
Brotnt

I live in baker and can't wait for this crew to join us. I've heard from all my friends how great and fun Argyll is but have never gone BECAUSE THEY ARE IN CHERRY CREEK. I'd rather cut off my nose than eat in that hood. We're all stoked for their bowling/diner to open this year also. They really tore that Big Lots space up for that.

Lee
Lee

Whoa, a bit uptight about Cherry Creek are we? Its not that bad, actually the non-wealthy locals like myself are super fun and chill. It gets a bad rap because of Phil Anschutz's son raising the rents and trying to turn it into Aspen.

Jay
Jay

I completely agree about the Anschutz family and the other greedy commercial real estate landlords being the problem with Cherry Creek. They are out of touch with everyone except the richest 2%. They have a pre financial crisis mentality and think that people still think it's cool to live above their means. They are delusional and for some illogical reason think it's better to have a 17% commercial vacancy rate than lower rent which would attract independent bars and restaurants that would draw people in. They spend money on expensive landscaping projects that nobody cares about and ignore the terrible parking situation.

Nicole
Nicole

Flyfishing is awesome!  Leave fish out of it!  Cherry Creek needs to bring in more local businesses and have free parking.  It's becoming a ghost town and the whole area really needs a remodel - streets, landscaping, all of it.

Mantonat
Mantonat

I love the landscaping. It's all the other stuff like the overpriced furniture stores, $100 haircut salons, fly fishing superstores, etc. that I can do without. I feel bad for Ondo's, but hopefully they are getting enough business from the neighborhood since nobody seems to want to go there any more.

Guest
Guest

So there is a major debate about Gary Lee's place in the SoBo neighborhood and how there are already too many bars, restaurants and clubs down there, but everyone seems to be okay with this?

sporobolus
sporobolus

it really depends on where it will be, what kind of license they apply for (no application notice has been received) and what the parking situation is like in the area

i cringe a little bit at "Baker District" -- usually it means Broadway, and not the neighborhood west of Broadway, but it's hard to tell because it's an informal name i've seen realtors use as far east as Logan and as far north as 9th

Henry
Henry

Yeah, I just was thinking the same thing.  As a Baker resident myself, I'm thrilled at the number of new places that keep coming to the 'hood.  I've been envious of all my friends in the highlands, but it looks like my choice of places to live might actually be rewarded.   I never did hear the outcome of the Gary Lee controversy, but I'm hoping that he got his license!

sporobolus
sporobolus

Gary Lee's Motor Club and Grub license was supported by BHNA and WWPNA on the basis of specific good neighbor agreements that Bomar signed; still, there was a large turnout both pro and con for the license hearing on 11 July and it will be up to 30 days before a ruling is issued

ballpark
ballpark

Wow. Squeaky Bean, TAG, Argyll... sounds like there's a sudden glut of available talent, both front and back of house. Make your move, people. Now is not the time to be shy.

Ebethcheese
Ebethcheese

Wow!  Robert's right...Baker is a much better neighborhood for Argylle...but it was always my excuse to go to CCN.  In the meantime, I guess I'm going to have to make my own Scotch Eggs for a while...sigh.

DG
DG

If they don't open back up quickly I'll be forced to boycott them for 20 minutes when they reopen. Can't wait to try Le Grand. When is it opening??

cory
cory

Maybe Cherry Creek would have been better off if they had kept the parking free?

Whee
Whee

Agree that Argyll will be a better addition to Denver in a better neighborhood. We'll miss them while they're dark. Looking forward to eating and drinking at Argyll surrounded by people that look and act like I do instead of the CCN nasties.

monkey
monkey

cherry creek is dead. That has been compouned by Anschutz stupid vision for an upscale 'exclusive' neighborhood

Beavis
Beavis

Cherry Creek North, in my opinion, would be better served by reverting back to a landfill.

Lee
Lee

Bad idea, my house would be destroyed!

I wish your neighborhood total annihilation from atomic bombs. So there.

Rusty Shackleford
Rusty Shackleford

I wish your neighborhood total annihilation from atomic bombs. So there.I live on the edge of Aurora, and a Slim Pickens-riding 40 megatons of nuclear whoop-ass might be an improvement...

Uncledave8
Uncledave8

Right on.  Much more likely to visit his new location.  I hate Cherry Creek North - it is a culinary wasteland nowadays.  Parking sucks.  Just no real vibe (other than corporate) anymore.  Too bad, CCN used to be the place for great food.  Times have certainly changed.  I haven't been to a CCN restaurant in over year.  The last time I was there was specifically to visit Arygyll and now I'll be able to walk to the new location.

Kevin Villegas
Kevin Villegas

Ah, crap. I liked the space itself, but thought it was in kind of an odd location that didn't fit its vibe. I'm looking forward to seeing what it does with all that space in Baker, though.

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