On December 21, Chef Nelson Perkins will close gastropub originator Colt and Gray and the neighboring subterranean bar Ste. Ellie. Culminating with a Drink the Bar Dry celebration, the two iconic venues will sadly finalize their contribution to a scene they helped lay the groundwork for nearly 11 years ago. Perkins took to his Facebook page late last evening to announce the shutter. “Colt & Gray has been my greatest passion, outside of my family, for more than a decade. I want to thank you all for supporting Colt and Gray. Colt and Gray, Ste. Ellie, and Viande have been a great success, changing the dining scene in Denver forever and creating a generation of successful young people, both in and out of the restaurant industry,” wrote Nelson.
Helping to introduce both farm-to-plate and nose-to-tail dining, both locations were early subscribers to concepts that have largely come to define large swathes of the city’s fine-dining culture. Nelson’s post correctly spoke to the restaurants’ massive contribution not only to Denver’s scene but to the level of innovation and sophistication the two helped inspire nationally. Excellent house-made charcuterie, superior ingredients and an ever-changing bar program helped establish both restaurants as critical darlings and fan favorites. Nelson’s post left no clear impetus for the closure, though he was effusive in thanking both staff and patrons for their ongoing support. While patrons have only a few short weeks to indulge, both restaurants will continue to serve their upscale fare with panache. There is no way to measure the sheer scope of Colt and Gray’s and Ste. Ellie’s impact, but both will surely be missed.
Colt and Gray is located at 1553 Platte St., Denver. It will be open Tuesday – Thursday 3:30 – 10 p.m., Friday 3:30 – 11 p.m. and Sunday 5 – 11 p.m.
Photos by Brittni Bell Warshaw