The Crushery closes on South Pearl Street

JohnDavidsoncrushery.jpg
Lori Midson
John Davidson, owner/chef of the Crushery, which just shuttered on South Pearl Street.
"It all began in 2007," begins the conversation with John Davidson, "when the landlord violated my non-compete clause four months after we opened -- and Pajama Baking Company opened just a few doors down from me. We had to split business, which isn't what I'd signed up for."

But despite the competition, Davidson, the chef/owner of the Crushery, which closed today on South Pearl Street, had high hopes for his neighborhood joint, a popular gathering spot for Platt Park and Washington Park residents.

"I look at a lot of chefs who make money doing this -- our goal was to grow and expand the Crushery -- but along the way, I learned that I'm a much better chef than a restaurateur, plus I was working eighty hours a week, handing most of the profit I was making to our nanny, which didn't make any sense, and I was spending most of my time downstairs working on other things, like payroll, taxes and the books, when what I really want to do is cook," admits Davidson, adding that while the Crushery was successful, it was never his dream restaurant. "My background is in fine dining -- I worked at Gramercy Tavern and at Jax -- and while I really enjoyed doing this, I'd like to go back to fine dining, but I also want to be there for my kids, and I want to be in the kitchen."

The culmination of the non-complete-clause violation, long hours, and time spent away from his family eventually got the best of Davidson, who made the decision to sell the Crushery to Kayvan Khalatbari, who owns Sexy Pizza in Capitol Hill; the deal was inked yesterday. "I love the people in this neighborhood, and, in a way, I feel like I'm letting them down, but I got a very nice offer from Sexy Pizza, and now I'm going to take some time off and figure out what I'm going to do next," says Davidson.

Part of his plan is to take his family to Oregon for the summer. "We need to get away and decompress and have some fun, and when I get back, then I'll decide what the future holds," he says. "I may do a fine-dining restaurant, or I may look for another space to just do our liquid nitrogen ice cream -- it's yet to be determined."

In the meantime, the second outpost of Sexy Pizza is slated to open in the former Crushery space on March 7, while India's Pearl, reportedly for sale for $2.2 million, still sits vacant on South Pearl Street, as does OTOTO and the Pearl Street Grill, which closed in late December and will swap spaces with Iakaya Den once its owners, Yasu and Toshi Kizaki, who also own Sushi Den and OTOTO, complete the Pearl Street Grill buildout.



Location Info

The Crushery - CLOSED

1579 S. Pearl St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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14 comments
Lolabees
Lolabees

Sad news for our neighborhood.  What a great idea!  Let's bring in another competing business so that we can have another restaurant failure!  imagine what a good Mexican restaurant could do here?  These landlords are raising rents so high that a restaurant needs to be high-end in order to stay afloat.  They don't seem to care about the neighborhood.  Not to mention that the charm of Pearl St is its laid-back, family atmosphere.  We already have a posh area like Cherry Creek-- we don't need another one.

Another business is in trouble-- The Empty Bottle is having a silent auction Saturday night to try to raise funds for their struggling business.  Check it out if you want to support it and help try to keep them open. (I have no affiliation with them, I just like wine.)

http://theemptybottledenver.co...

Jim Rome
Jim Rome

 How about actually reading what they are trying to raise money for before you spout off.  I do believe this was actually covered in this blog.... They are raising money to open up a cheese shop in their event space, and are using kickstarter to do so. 

But yes, lets just make some blanket statements about how bad landlords are, and how businesses shouldn't compete against each other.  Spoken like a true liberal douche.

Kevinblock
Kevinblock

Really sad to see them go. Loved the bagel breakfast sandwiches. I cannot understand why you would open some crappy pizza joint there. You have 2 really good pizza joints in walking distance of that place. If you want want a quick slice you can hit up Abo's or Famous.. I am with Jason Yee.. There is a huge open market for Mexican etc.. Heck, open a breakfast joint like Devil's food..you would have yuppie mom's with baby strollers and yoga pants a block long waiting to get in. Sexy Pizza.. I hope it as at least topless.. 

Douglas Stiff
Douglas Stiff

I would hate it if Kayvan was opening "some crappy pizza place," but Sexy Pizza is good food and good people.  

kimberly joe
kimberly joe

I am guessing Douglas that you are either an employee or the owner. You seem to have missed what everybody else has said. There is pizza all around the hood and a great place down the street. That's just great that they are good people. It still does not excite me to go there. 

Hilary
Hilary

Hope to see your liquid nitrogen ice cream again sometime. We created the best ice cream we have ever experienced at The Crushery, yet we only got to enjoy it once. Sad that you are gone!

ncwitstaff
ncwitstaff

While Khalatbari owns Sexy Pizza, I hope he doesn't intend to open one on South Pearl.  The street already has a really great pizza spot in Kaos Pizzaria. As a long time resident of Platt Park, I'd suggest filling community needs: We've been lacking good Latin/Mexican ever since Lola moved out. And there's no competition in the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean cuisines.

Jim Rome
Jim Rome

 Hmmm.  Maybe you should open a restaurant.  You seem to know what the area is in need of.  I agree, there is no way 2 pizza joints, located 2 blocks apart could ever make it.  Yes, families love Middle Eastern food, that is where the money is at these days.

Lori Midson
Lori Midson

Um..."In the meantime, the second outpost of Sexy Pizza is slated to open in the former Crushery space on March 7." 

Douglas Stiff
Douglas Stiff

It is indeed Sexy Pizza #2 opening at this location.  Kaos looks like a fantastic restaurant making traditional italian pizzas catering to families in an elegant yet casual atmosphere. Sexy pizza is classic New York style pizza with lots of greasy cheese and a crust that screams, "forget about it!."  They tend to cater to anyone and everyone, but especially those late night college kids looking to crush an entire 18 inch pie in an effort to ward off a hangover.   I hope that both these places can coexist.  Im def going to check out Kaos after looking at their website.  I frequent Sexy #1 already.

Colin Bane
Colin Bane

Best bagels anywhere -- even my dubious friends from NYC eventually conceded -- and an awesome neighborhood spot run by a couple of guys who seemingly knew every single person who came through the door by name. They will be missed. Can't wait to hear what they get up to next!

Foodie
Foodie

Very sorry to hear The Crushery has closed. Great sandwiches and liquid nitrogen ice cream. Plus, John and his staff were amazing with the customers. John, we look forward to enjoying your fine dining food.

Becky

Fletcher Davis
Fletcher Davis

Now those were some fine pressed sandwiches. Sad to see them go. 

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