French cooking is renowned for its strict rules, but succeeding in the restaurant business takes a bit more flexibility. After nearly 20 years in a garden-like setting in Larimer Square, Bistro Vendome will pick up its knives and its braising pans for a move to Park Hill early next year.
Bistro Vendome, which specializes in lighter French comfort food, will take over the former home of Tables, another long-lived restaurant that closed in August at 2267 Kearney St. It will remain open at its current location through brunch service on Jan. 1, 2023.
The move is necessary because Asana Partners, which bought Larimer Square (which consists of the entire 1400 block of Larimer Street) in 2020, is beginning much-needed repairs to the infrastructure of the 143-year-old Sussex Building where Bistro Vendome is located — something that could take up to three years, said Jen Jasinski, who has owned the restaurant with business partner Beth Gruitch since 2006.
“But we didn’t want to wait that long. We love our little brand and we wanted to keep it going,” Jasinski said, adding that she and Gruitch and their Crafted Concepts restaurant group have been looking for a new spot for about 18 months.
The one they found is in a tight-knit section of Park Hill — and it will be the first time that Crafted Concepts has operated a restaurant outside of downtown. Its other three restaurants are Rioja, also in Larimer Square, and Ultreia and Stoic and Genuine, both in Union Station.
“You know that feeling when something is just right? The [Tables] location clicked for us,” Jasinski said. “We’ll need to get to know people in Park Hill and find out what they want and need.”
The move also gives Jasinski, a James Beard award-winning chef, and Bistro Vendome head chef Jeremy Wolgamott “an opportunity to reinvent ourselves a little bit, to have fun and stretch out and play with some new food,” she added.
But there’s no replacing the setting. “Our courtyard, there is no other place like it in Denver, but over the years, even that has changed,” Jasinski acknowledged. “Of course we will miss it.”
Still, the new location will have a patio and that “Bistro Vendome feel,” she continued. And it will continue to serve dinner nightly and weekend brunch.
“I think people will love it. Italian, Mexican, French food are not going anywhere. The popularity of French food ebbs and flows with time, but there are so many classics in there, and people are so comfortable with it. If you do it well and right, and take care, people will love it.”
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