Wayward closes after less than a year on Little Raven Street

Owner Chad Michael George said they just couldn’t make that location work in a competitive market.

Wayward Restaurant on Little Raven Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

food; restaurant; denver; colorado;
Wayward Restaurant on Little Raven Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) food; restaurant; denver; colorado;
Wayward Restaurant on Little Raven Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

When it opened in August 2017, Wayward was a breath of fresh air in the large, windowed space where the Millennium Bridge drops onto Little Raven Street.

It replaced Zengo, the much darker, moodier Asian fusion restaurant that lived there for 14 years — giving it a brighter, warmer look to set the mood to showcase chef Patrick Kelly’s vegatable-forward seasonal creations.

On Tuesday, owners Chad Michael George, Kade Gianinetti and Jared Schwartz announced that they’re closing their young restaurant.

“We’re disappointed to close Wayward and are grateful to our staff and guests, but this will enable our team to focus on the overall health of our business and divert resources to our other restaurants,” Schwartz said in a statement.  “We look forward to serving the community for the next few weeks and hope to welcome guests to American Grind and The Way Back in the future.”

Wayward Restaurant on Little Raven Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) food; restaurant; denver; colorado;
Wayward Restaurant on Little Raven Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Wayward’s last day of service will be Sunday, April 15. The team’s other spots — The Way Back and American Grind — are still running as usual. The partners said in a statement that they hope hire as many Wayward staff as possible to work in those restaurants.

“Giving people a reason to come to Little Raven is difficult with so many other great spots popping up on both sides of us, towards Union Station and LoHi,” George told Eater.

What happens next is still up in the air. Right now, they’re looking for another restaurant to take over the lease and hope to continue operating a bar out of the smaller space next door where they’ve been doing pop-up bars.

Ashley Dean

Author: Ashley Dean

Ashley Dean is the assistant editor and culture reporter for Denverite. She previously covered music and did some copy editing for the Denver Post, the Colorado Daily and the Daily Camera. She's from New York, likes bourbon straight and dreams of someday holding the title of Nightlife Mayor. Find her at adean@denverite.com, 303-502-2804 or @AshleyDean.