DENVER — The coronavirus prompted Justin Brunson to rethink things.
The man who opened restaurant Old Major in LoHi in 2013 expanded in a few different directions in recent years. By the time the pandemic set in, his sandwich-and-charcuterie shop Culture Meat & Cheese was up to three locations. His fried chicken concept, Royal Rooster, was operating in Broadway Market. And his meat processing company, River Bear, was about a year and a half old.
True, Brunson had taken some steps back. In the past year, he stepped down as executive chef at Old Major while retaining ownership, and merged another of his concepts, Masterpiece Delicatessen, with the restaurant.
But the pandemic prompted him to make bigger changes.
On Tuesday, Brunson confirmed that Old Major won’t reopen. He’s sold his lease for the space at 3316 Tejon St., along with the fixtures and equipment inside, to Amos Watts, who will open a new concept in the space. Watts, of Boulder’s Corrida, wasn’t ready to talk specifics on Tuesday.
Had the pandemic not arrived, Brunson said, “I probably would have kept pushing forward on everything,” including Old Major. But the restaurant was upscale, and known for its shareable plates. Takeout wasn’t really an option.
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