The pandemic year was one of the most difficult years on record for restaurants, forcing several restaurants to cut staff and hours of operation, or in some cases, to close permanently.
Sadly, the latest local favorite to announce its permanent closure is Boulder’s Shine, 2480 Canyon Blvd., which will close on July 9 with one final dance party celebration. While offerings such as Shine’s restorative drinks and gluten-free and organic specialties like jackfruit tacos will no longer be available, other operations under the Shine banner will continue. These include Shine Living, which will host events and classes covering topics such as yoga and nutrition, as well as Shine Potions, a supplier of herbal tonics. Tickets for Shine’s farewell dance are available for $ 10 at shinecommunity.com.
Triplets Jessica, Jill and Jennifer Emich ran the Trilogy Wine Bar & Lounge from 2000-2009, then opened the Shine Restaurant & Potion Bar in 2011, which was later renamed Shine Community.
Babette’s scales rise again
Other places, such as Babette’s Pizza and Pane in Longmont, at 2030 Ionosphere St., have reduced their offerings. While this popular spot didn’t offer indoor dining at the end of June, it still has a robust take-out menu as well as al fresco dining options on the rooftop.
Baked goods, like a tasty Danish with asparagus and cheese, and the always nice slices of almond and chocolate cake are available. A variety of take-out options are also available, such as roasted beets with blue cheese. Most importantly, a selection of Babette’s regular cuisine dishes are available for limited hours Thursday through Saturday, including top-notch wood-fired pizzas and the occasional burger special.
Breakfast champion becomes Boco restaurant
Boulder’s Breakfast Champion, known for its Turkish specialties (note that I did not take the e
and called its menu items “delicacies”), changed hands and is now known as Boco Restaurant, 4800 Baseline Road, A109.
Fortunately, the new owners have chosen to keep many of Breakfast’s Champion’s signature items. These include the excellent baklava, multi-course Turkish breakfasts, and richly presented and potent Turkish coffee.
Intriguing new menu choices draw inspiration from Indian influences and include a chicken tikka masala wrap, as well as a mix of tasty and slightly spicy dried noodles and puffed rice – a staple Indian snack.
Casian Seafood opens its doors in Lafayette
A few daring entrepreneurs opened new restaurants during the pandemic, and my new personal East County favorite is Lafayette’s Casian Seafood, 211 N. Public Road.
An example of perhaps my favorite kind of fusion, the Asian-Cajun mashup – there are a few restaurants in Denver that fall into this category – Casian offers seafood boils with a twist. While a generously portioned seafood porridge can be obtained from a choice of crayfish, mussels or shrimp seasoned with classic Cajun spices, other options take on a more Asian taste profile.
My favorite is the Jumbo Shrimp in Garlic Butter, boiled, topped with ginger and lemongrass, and combining seafood with the sides of Andouille sausage, corn on the cob and potato. While there are also fairly common offerings like fish and chips, some items are hard to find elsewhere, such as the chewy and flavorful Hmong sausage, made on the spot and enhanced with a hot chili condiment.