Colorado Kitchen, chef Gillian Clark's cozy, quirky restaurant in DC's Brightwood, is closing after seven years.
"It's a-coming," says Clark. "The final day is coming. . . . People should make their plans soon. We've had a great seven years and had a really great time. We're not a one-trick pony. . . . My brain has more restaurant concepts in it than Colorado Kitchen."
The reason for the shutdown? "In order for Colorado Kitchen to continue," Clark says, "I need people to come in here and cook"—a real problem, says the chef, given that the kitchen is only 300 square feet.
She expects to debut a new restaurant in Silver Spring this fall, in the Woodside neighborhood that she and partner Robin Smith had expected to be a second Colorado Kitchen. The project has been fraught with problems. Says Clark: "The building is really old. The roof wasn't done to code. We bit off a lot by taking that on. We're looking at October."
Colorado Kitchen built a loyal and passionate following for its reasonably priced, often creative cooking and its idiosyncratic setting. Clark assures fans that her brand of restaurant is not going away just because her first place is shutting down: "We're not done with this town yet. Colorado Kitchen has grown up, and let's just say she's ready to go to college. She's ready to move on."