Even on a snowy, blustery winter day at the tail end of 2018, things haven’t ground to a halt. Bar and restaurant owners are working hard to make sure your New Year’s Eve celebration is off the charts — and some of them are bringing new things even as the rest of us are reflecting on what’s already come to pass.
We’ll give Hazel Art Bar, at 1581 South Pearl Street, credit for being the last new bar to open in 2018. Owners Tom and Tori Schumacher unveiled the space, named after Tori’s great aunt, on Saturday, December 29, giving Platt Park a watering hole where you can ogle and even buy art by local artists, or purchase art kits to make your own masterpieces.
Two established eateries are changing things up a bit for the new year. BBQ Supply Co., the weekend-only smokehouse run by Jared Leonard at 2180 South Delaware Street, is getting a new name. Leonard founded his Texas-style barbecue restaurant in Chicago, where he also sold retail equipment and offered classes for home smokers. But the Denver outpost lacked those elements, making the name a little confusing. Now he’s changing the name to AJ’s Pit Bar-B-Q and relaunching in January; hopefully he’ll extend business hours so we can partake more often of his barbecue that’s tasty enough to make our list of the best cheap eats of 2018. The chef also runs the Budlong Hot Chicken food truck.
On Broadway, a Chinese hot pot restaurant is changing gears. Chubby Cattle landed at 2 Broadway last summer as one of the oddest concepts — with one of the oddest names — in town. Tables and bar seats are equipped with individual hot-pot burners, and food is delivered via a refrigerated conveyor belt and a miniature train track. But Denver customers wanted something a little different, according to the Las Vegas-based company. The restaurant has been renamed Rolls by Chubby Cattle, and the automated delivery system will now send sushi to each seat; there will also be a do-it-yourself ramen bar for those who still want to slurp noodles. The restaurant will remain as gorgeously appointed as ever, even if the name and service method are more than a little goofy.