Daniel Kuhlman, owner of Roam, comes out swinging -- literally -- after abruptly closing his restaurant (again)
The text from Mandi Clement read, "Please call me when you get a moment. Fairly urgent."
Lori Midson Daniel Kuhlman, owner of Roam, wags his finger at chef Tony Clement after first getting in a few shoves.
Thirty minutes later, I was at Roam, the Uptown restaurant that Daniel Kuhlman owns with his wife, Kristel -- the same restaurant that originally opened as Wild Catch, an upscale sustainable seafood den that went underwater after opening exec chef Justin Brunson sailed out the door, his staff right there behind him.
And today, Kuhlman abruptly shuttered Roam -- and how it all went down is just bizarre.
Several of the former staff, including exec chef Tony Clement, who came on board when Wild Catch reopened as Roam, his wife and front-of-the-house manager, Mandi, two servers and a dishwasher were next door at Las Margaritas when I showed up. They gathered in front of Roam, I took a photograph and, suddenly, Kuhlman flung open the front door, started shoving people out of the way, including me, and then attempted to grab my camera, nearly knocking me to the pavement in the process. After he and Tony exchanged words (and Daniel wagged his finger in Tony's face), Tony called the police.
Mandi and Tony had already come face-to-face with Denver's finest once today, after Daniel, who changed the locks almost immediately, felt the need to have the couple escorted off the premises. "Apparently, he was afraid we were going to steal his stuff, so he called the police," says Tony.
Roam is closed on Tuesday, but Tony had stopped by to water the tomato plants he had planned to move to the rooftop garden once the weather turned warm. "I was walking down the stairs to water the plants, and ran into Kristel, who said, 'Hey, how are you?' And when I got downstairs, everything in dry storage was packed up," says Tony. "I came back up the stairs and asked her if they were throwing in the towel, and she said they were."
Denver's finest showed up once to escort the Clements out of the restaurant; they arrived again after Tony Clement called to report an assault.
And then, according to Tony, Kristel claimed that Daniel intended to let them know tomorrow, by phone, that Roam had shuttered. "Daniel is the most deceitful, conniving, and spineless person I know," claims Mandi. "He's incapable of telling the truth."