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Before Highland Tap & Burger and Uncle moved into a series of store fronts on West 32nd Avenue and Vallejo Street, there was a Mexican pub and taqueria called Aztec Sol on the block. It was a little rough, a place fists could fly if you didn’t follow proper pool table etiquette. But the tacos were great and the tequila selection was comparable all over town at the time – even the fancy gringo venues.

And you don’t even have to look back a decade (Aztec Sol closed in 2011) to remember nearby Dickinson Plaza, which is home to some local sandwich and cafes, among other things. Dickinson Plaza was bought and demolished in 2016, displacing Fat Jack’s Subs, Laughing Latte, and Mary Jane’s Pizza. A new mixed-use development was created in its place. New shops, bars, and cafes moved in, including Lady Jane (a great cocktail bar, if far fancier than any of its predecessors), Method Collective (a locally owned coffee roaster outpost) – and now Bartaco. This is the second Bartaco on the subway – a bouldering location that opened a few years ago – and one of many in eleven states. The concept is owned by the same company that brought the Barcelona Wine Bar to Larimer Street, the same group that owns Del Frisco. So tacos and tequila are back on the block; If you go, give a tip for Aztec Sol. But don’t overlook Patzcuaro’s, Taqueria La Familia, and La Grande Mexicana, three long-standing Mexican restaurants just a few blocks west.

Kyle’s kitchen on Tennyson Street became the Nug Nugs Diner last year, but the breakfast place didn’t stand a great chance during the pandemic. It’s now closed and the room is about to become Lucy’s, specializing in juicy Minnesota-style Lucy burgers – with melted cheese in a patty.

Here is our full list of this week’s openings and closings:

Restaurants and bars open this week *
Bartaco, 2001 West 32nd Avenue
Hollan Dazed, 1275 East First Avenue, Broomfield

Restaurants and bars close this week *
Nug Nugs Diner (formerly Kyle’s Kitchen), 4018 Tennyson Street

* Or earlier and not previously reported.

Do you know of openings or closings that are not on our list? Let us know in the comments or send an email to [email protected]

Keep Westword Free … Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we want to keep it that way. We offer our readers free access to concise coverage of local news, food and culture. Produce stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands with bold reporting, stylish writing, and staff, everything from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Feature Writing Award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism have won. Given that the existence of local journalism amid siege and setbacks has a greater impact on advertising revenue, it is more important than ever for us to raise support for funding our local journalism. You can help by joining our I Support membership program which allows us to continue to cover Denver without paywalls.